Following courtesy of Agence France-Presse: Forced confessions through torture are not rare in China, the leading English-language newspaper of China said yesterday, a rare admission by state-run media of deep-seated flaws in the justice system after a teenager executed for murder 18 years ago was cleared.

 

“It has not been rare for higher authorities to exert pressure on local public security departments and judiciary to crack serious murder cases,” the China Daily said in an editorial. “Nor has it been rare for the police to extort confessions through torture … and suspects have been sentenced without solid evidence except for ­extorted confessions.”

 

Hugjiltu, 18, was convicted and put to death in Inner Mongolia in 1996, but doubt was cast on the verdict when another man confessed to the crime in 2005. Even so, he was only ­finally exonerated on Monday.

 

Hugjiltu confessed after 48 hours of interrogation to having raped and choked a woman in the toilet of a textile factory. He was executed weeks later. His retrial and acquittal on Monday was one of the most widely discussed topics on social media, with nearly 300 million postings on Weibo.

 

The regime wants to use the case to send a message to police and the courts that they must stick to the evidence and not rely on extracted confessions.

 

AFP, 16 December 2014