China’s incoming security chief promises ‘to stop sending people to labour camps’

London, Jan 7: China’s incoming security chief has said the country will stop sending people to labour camps.

After years of international criticism, Meng Jianzhu told a legal conference in Beijing that the Communist party had finally decided to ‘stop the use’ of the ‘reform through labour’ system and will pass new regulations at an annual meeting of the Chinese parliament in March.

According to Chen Dongsheng, the head of the Legal Daily newspaper’s Zhejiang bureau, he also promised that there would be an immediate halt to sending ‘repetitive and troublesome petitioners’, those who travel from their home provinces to Beijing to complain to the government, to labour camps.

China has been debating how to change its labour camp system for much of the past decade, the Telegraph reports.

Some 190,000 Chinese were being held in 320 re-education centres in 2009, according to a UN Human Rights Council report “C in addition to an estimated 1.6 million Chinese held in the formal prison system, the report said.

Human rights activists said the detainees currently within the system were unlikely to be immediately released, but that no new prisoners would be added.

However, they cautioned that the government has yet to announce the details of what scheme will replace the current system, the report added. (ANI)