China's Ministry of Public Security has issued guidelines on the management and education of offenders in detention centers, amid its effort to better protect detainees' lawful rights and reduce repeat offences.
The guidelines, issued on Monday, bans law enforcement personnel from seizing or confiscating detainees' property and protects detainees against insult, corporal punishment or maltreatment. Their right to call and meet friends or relatives was also ensured.
Zhao Chunguang, director of the prison administration bureau under the ministry, said Thursday that by issuing the guidelines the ministry is promoting a safe and civilized detention center management system that places equal emphasis on punishment and education.
The guidelines, which all detention centers in the country are required to implement before 2011, advocate civilized and standardized law enforcement procedures, safe and orderly supervision and management of detainees and protection of detainees' legal rights and interests.
China established its first detention center in 1957. Zhao said there was room for improvement in the areas of legislation, the infrastructure of detention centers and the police force.
Detention centers are also encouraged to inform detainees of their rights and obligations and to ensure detainees are not subjected to forced labor.
Detainees' reports, complaints, accusations and requests to leave should be submitted to the relevant authorities and dealt with in a timely manner, according to the guidelines.