On November 6, 2017, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress released a draft National Supervision Law that spells out the powers of a new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Committee. The new law, which is expected to take effect in March 2018, has come under criticism over the past week — with some experts in China and beyond arguing that the law risks replacing an abusive shuanggui system — which for many years has invited rampant abuse of suspects under secret detention — with a new liuzhi system that still offers, some say, no rights protection for detainees.
In the past two days, a number of users on the Weibo social media platform in China have posted a story attributed to well-known legal expert and political commentator Chen Jieren (陈杰人), in which he alleges that he was pressured by authorities to criticizing the draft National Supervision Law.
The following Weibo post by “Media Person Lin Guoqiang” (媒体人林-国-强), which shares the Chen Jieren passage, was deleted from the platform at 3:27PM today, Beijing time, one day after it was posted.
Chen Jieren: Today a rather high-level official came to urge me not to keep raising questions about the legislating of the National Supervision Law. He said I needed to trust the Party’s Central Committee, and that I shouldn’t engage in improper discussion [of Party policies]. I told him that under the principles of the current draft National Supervision Law, from today on, would make it impossible for lawyers to become involved at any point in the investigation phase in cases of anti-corruption, and there was no way to protect the rights of suspects. The group facing the greatest potential harm in this was officials, I said. We are speaking for officials, but officials are still waylaying us . . .