(New York) – The Chinese government should significantly revise the country’s draft Police Law to bring it into conformity with international standards, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday in a submission to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
“Police abuses caught on tape and widely viewed have made the force deeply unpopular,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “But the draft revisions to the Police Law do little to make the police more accountable, and actually expand the force’s powers in ways that could exacerbate abuses.”
Specifically, Human Rights Watch is concerned that the draft revisions will:
- Allow police to use firearms under conditions that go well beyond those permitted by international standards, including against people peacefully advocating for human rights or criticizing the Communist Party;
- Empower police to carry out unspecified “network controls” on the internet and other telecommunications, which may include network suspension; and
- Fail to impose meaningful curbs on wide existing police powers.