China releases guideline for punishing assault against police officers

Xinhua
China has released a guideline for punishing assault against police officers, clarifying the application of the law in such cases, said the Ministry of Public Security Friday.
Xinhua

China has released a guideline for punishing assaults against police officers, clarifying the application of the law in such cases, said the Ministry of Public Security Friday.

It makes it explicit what kinds of behaviors will lead to criminal liability and tougher punishment in accordance with the law and shows China's determination to punish violence against police officers, Sun Ping, deputy director of the ministry's legal affairs bureau, said at a press conference.

Some felons even escaped legal sanction or secured leniency as there used to be no unified criteria for deciding a guilty verdict and imposing a penalty, said Sun.

The guideline defines violent attacks on police as personal attacks against police officers, Zhao Bin, also deputy director of the bureau, said at the press conference.

The attacks include direct assaults on police officers such as beating and biting, as well as indirect attacks such as destroying police vehicles and gear, Zhao said.

Tougher punishments should be imposed on behaviors with cruel means or ones that cause serious consequences and bad social influence, said Sun, adding that probation shall not be applied in general if the case constitutes a crime.

The guideline also upholds the principle of showing leniency to those conducting misdemeanors, who will be relieved from criminal liability, Zhao said.

Chinese procuratorates approved the arrest of 51,658 suspects involved in crimes of obstructing official duties and prosecuted 79,024 suspects from 2016 to 2019, quite a few of which were offenses against the police, Gao Jingfeng, an official with the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said at the press conference.

Jointly released by the Supreme People's Court, the MPS and the SPR, the guideline was the first of its kind China has ever released and went into effect on Dec. 27, 2019. 

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