China mulls prisoner amnesty on PRC's 70th anniversary

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/26 22:28:40

China's top legislature on Tuesday began reviewing a proposal to grant amnesty to some convicts as the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which analysts said will help unite the people and improve political stability.

The draft was submitted for review to the bi-monthly legislative session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which opened Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

China has had eight pardons since the founding of the PRC in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1975 and 2015.

Amnesties are a common humanitarian practice internationally and the amnesty in 2019 will help unite the people and reflect the government's confidence in its governance. The show of leniency toward prisoners complements the strict rule of law. It is international practice and shows respect for human rights, analysts said.

"Over the past 70 years, China has made great achievements in the economy and politics. Prisoners granted amnesty will further unite the people and improve political stability," said Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Municipal Committee.

Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday that amnesty would be granted to those convicted of relatively minor crimes to give them a chance to celebrate the special occasion.

The deal in 2015 covered four categories of prisoners: those who fought in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the civil war against the Kuomintang; those who participated in wars to safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity after 1949; those with physical disabilities unable to care for themselves; and those who committed crimes while under the age of 18 and received a maximum sentence of three years in prison, or who have less than a year of their prison term to serve, according to Xinhua.

Newspaper headline: China mulls prisoner amnesty on anniversary


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