China abolishes reeducation labor camps

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Associated Press

Posted on December 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM

BEIJING (AP) — State media say China's national legislature has voted to abolish a much-criticized penal system that allowed police to lock up people for up to four years without due process.

The official Xinhua News said the standing committee of the National People's Congress on Saturday adopted a resolution to abolish the reeducation labor system, formalizing a November decision by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Xinhua says all those serving time in the labor camps will be set free starting Saturday. It says penalties handed out before the abolition should still be considered legitimate, a provision aimed at preventing the victims from suing the state and seeking redress.

China's senior leadership signaled its intention to end the system in January, and many labor camps stopped admitting people since then.

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