- 29 Aug 2014
- [International Secretariat]
- Region: PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
- Topic: Abolition of the Death Penalty
In 2013, China continued to execute more people than the rest of the world put together. © AFP/Getty Images
The rare acquittal of a death row prisoner in China, who had languished in prison through six years’ of appeals, is another reminder of the need to immediately end all executions and abolish the death penalty in the country, Amnesty International said.
NianBin, a former food stall owner, walked free today after a Fujian court acquitted him of "placing dangerous materials" due to insufficient evidence after he had lodged three appeals in six years.
“This rare acquittal is yet another vivid example of why the death penalty should be abolished, and the ever present risk of executing innocent people is just one of many compelling arguments against the death penalty,” said Anu Kultalahti, Amnesty International’s China Researcher.
“China’s justice system is deeply flawed and more needs to be done to promptly address the failures of this case, including allegations of torture. It’s appalling that Nian Bin and his family have had to suffer through six years with the threat of execution hanging over him despite the obvious lack of evidence in this case. ”
Nian Bin was accused of poisoning his neighbours with rat poison, leading to the death of two children and injuries to four others, in Aoqian village in Pingtan County, Fujian province in July 2006. Nian Bin alleged that he was tortured into admitting the crime during police interrogation.
Since his first trial in February 2008, Nian Bin has gone through the trial of first instance, three appeals, the Supreme People’s Court’s review and three retrials, which were all ordered due to insufficient evidence.
In October 2010, the Supreme People’s Court ruled against the death penalty sentence during its review, citing insufficient evidence and ambiguous facts, and ordered a retrial. Despite this, the Fuzhou City Intermediate Court defied the Supreme People’s Court’s ruling and sentenced Nian Bin to death again during the second retrial in November 2011.
The Fujian Provincial High People’s Court heard the last retrial on 4 July 2013 and applied for extension of the retrial a few times until it delivered its verdict today, freeing Nian Bin.
“In this case, China’s system of Supreme People’s Court review of all death sentences eventually prevented a miscarriage of justice. But Nian Bin and his family would not have had to endure such a lengthy process of retrials and appeals if the Fuzhou court had seriously considered the higher courts’ repeated rulings that there was insufficient evidence against him,” Kultalahti said.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESSRELEASE
- 30 Jul 2021
BARRISTER CHARGED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
- 6 Jul 2021
TIBETAN MONK JAILED FOR ONLINE MESSAGES
- 3 Jul 2021
64 PERSONS CHARGED IN RELATION TO NATIONAL SECURITY LAW
- 9 May 2021
UYGHUR HELD IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR 2 YEARS
- 19 Apr 2021
TWO HONGKONGERS REMAIN INCOMMUNICADO IN CHINA
- 8 Jan 2020 [International Secretariat]
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Hong Kong: Peaceful protesters targeted as police start 2020 with renewed attack on dissent
- 7 Dec 2019 [etc.]
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Hong Kong, I am proud of it.
- 3 Dec 2019 [International Secretariat]
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: End hollow denials and give answers to victims of horrific Xinjiang abuses
- 21 Nov 2019 [International Secretariat]
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Hong Kong: Police must defuse campus standoff to avoid more tragedy
- 14 Nov 2019 [International Secretariat]
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Hong Kong: Investigate shooting of protesters after ‘another low’ in police use of force