Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Friday, October 23, 2009

A foreigner's life in a Beijing jail

Here's the first-person report from the Danwei blog. According to the post, the writer spent seven months in a Beijing detention center. His jailmates included such people as Huang Guangyu, the CEO of Gome who is now under investigation for various suspected crimes. We are not told why the writer was there, but all this, plus his description of the jail regime, make it pretty clear that this is not an account of a regular criminal sentence of reform through labor. It may be that the writer was under investigation for something; it may be that he was sentenced to detention (拘役) instead of fixed-term imprisonment (有期徒刑). The maximum term for detention is six months, but I wouldn't be surprised if things went over the limit when you add on time for investigation, etc. Thus, this should not be read as an account of hard time. To be clear, the writer does not present it as such, and doesn't ask for sympathy. I just want to put this interesting account in context.

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In which cell(s) did you spent that time at the Beijing Detention Center?
How did the procurator and/or Jincha got you to confess, if they did?
PS When did it changed from 6-month minmum to 6-month maximum Detention?

Posted by: Jean Oubien | Nov 4, 2009 8:02:36 AM

China’s Criminal Code: Article 45 A term of fixed-term imprisonment shall not be less than six months.

Posted by: Jean Oubien | Nov 4, 2009 9:02:41 AM

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