SPC Claims That All Court Cases Involving Extended Detention Have Been Cleared

January 18, 2005

According to a Guangming Daily report, the Supreme People’s Court has announced that with the exception of a few cases involving legal technicalities, all extended detention cases involving the courts were cleared as of the end of last year. The report indicates that courts cleared a total of 873 extended detention cases involving 2,432 individuals in 2004. In mid-December, SPC Vice-President Cao Jianming noted that as of November 30, courts had cleared 828 cases of extended detention involving 2,427 individuals in 2004, and that only 8 cases involving 8 individuals remained to be rectified. The Guangming Daily did not offer any explanation for the apparent discrepancy between the two sets of statistics.

A similar announcement was made at the end of 2003, when SPC officials claimed that all extended detention cases had been cleared on schedule (with the exception of 91 cases for which facts still needed to be verified). Although the statistics likely understate the number of extended detentions, they do suggest that a significant number of new cases of extended detention arose in 2004, despite a government campaign to eliminate the practice and claims that comprehensive systems have been put in place to prevent extended detention.