China cleans up job-related human rights violations
Two officials involved in the notorious fake milk powder case in Fuyang City, east China's Anhui Province, were recently put into custody for dereliction of duty, marking a resolute step in the country's one-year fight against human rights violation crimes by government officials.
Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), announced Wednesday that procuratorates at all levels will launch a sweeping one-year investigation into job-related crimes of infringing on human rights.
"Negligence of duty which causes great losses of people's lives and assets is one of the campaign's major targets," Wang said, adding the goal of the campaign is to fulfill the commitment of " respect and protection of human rights" enshrined in the Constitution and to defend basic benefits of the masses.
Wu Jiang, professor with the Beijing-based National School of Administration, considered most major accidents or cases, including the stampede accident in Beijing's suburban Miyun County, department store fire in northeast China's Jilin Province, together with the inferior milk power case, more or less relevant to officials' dereliction of duty.
"They also violate human rights since their negligence has caused damages to people's existence and property rights," Wu said.
"The State respects and protects human rights", proposed as one of the new Constitutional amendments, was passed in the Second Session of the 10 National People's Congress this March.
"The immediate punishment of officials guilty of these accidents and cases, plus the clean-up campaign against cadres' violation of human rights launched by SPP, both reflect the effect of the enshrinement of human rights protection in Constitution on real life," Wu said.
According to earlier reports, thirteen infants in Anhui have died of nutritional deficiencies from consuming substandard milk powder, and 171 infants suffered from malnutrition after being fed with milk powder deficient in protein and other nutrients.
Li Tingjun and Bai Qixiang, vice directors of a local office for industry and commerce administration now in detention, first turned a deaf ear to the public's report on fake milk powder and then fabricated whitewashing confessions after the case stirred a nationwide uproar.
In addition to the investigation of Li and Bai involved in the fake milk powder case, procuratorates also started probe into responsible officials for the Miyun stampede accident, including two cadres of a police station and an official of the local culture bureau, revealed Chen Lianfu, a SPP official.
Wang Zhenchuan also warned that other crimes infringing human rights, including illegal investigation and detention, evidence collection through violent means, inquisition by torture and abuse of prisoners, would all get severe punishment during the campaign.
Wang pledged that criminal cases, wherever they happen and whoever is involved, must be thoroughly investigated under the law.
"Procuratorates at all levels, as the supervisory bodies of law enforcement,
should bear the important responsibility of safeguarding people's human rights,"