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Why Chinese Courts Are So Prone To Wrongful Convictions

Law enforcement agencies that bring cases to court, and the administrators who act as court overseers, have far more power and influence than judges, who are often pressured to render false verdicts. How it works, and why the system needs overhauling.

At the Heilongjiang Intermediate People's Court in Harbin, northern China
At the Heilongjiang Intermediate People's Court in Harbin, northern China
Li Yongjun

BEIJING — A few days ago, a man in the central city of Shiyan stabbed four judges on the city's Intermediate People's Court, badly injuring two of them. Unfortunately, it's not an isolated case. In recent years, threats and violence against judges by people dissatisfied with court decisions have become frequent all across China. There was even a case in Hunan province in which four judges were shot and killed while they were presiding.

These incidents reflect the judicial system's serious lack of credibility, and the discontent is also evident in Chinese social media. The topic of judicial injustice often evokes the names Yu Xianlin, Zhao Zuohai, Nie Shubin and Hugejiletu. Because of miscarriages of justice, two of these wrongfully accused people were executed long ago, and the other two spent much of their lives in prison, wrongly convicted.

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👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

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