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15 suspicious deaths in China jails this year: state media

Jackie Chan warns over China 'chaos': report
Hong Kong movie legend Jackie Chan told a Chinese audience that too much political freedom can lead to chaos "like in Taiwan," a newspaper report said Sunday. Chan, best-known for his martial-arts comedies, told an annual meeting of governments and business leaders that China should be wary of allowing too many freedoms, the Sunday Morning Post reported. "I don't know whether it is better to have freedom or to have no freedom," he said at the Boao Forum for Asia. "With too much freedom ... it can get very chaotic, could end up like in Taiwan." The star of the Hollywood blockbuster franchise "Rush Hour" got into trouble in 2004 when he described the Taiwanese presidential elections as the "biggest joke in the world." Chan also told the forum he would not buy a television made in China because he was afraid it might explode. Instead, he said, he would buy one from Japan. The 55-year-old's latest film, "Shinjuku Incident", has been banned in China for being too violent, but Chan shied away from criticising Beijing. "If you want to make a film in China, you have to follow our rules," he told the forum, according to the report.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 19, 2009
Stricter monitoring measures are being introduced in all Chinese jails after at least 15 people died in unusual circumstances this year alone, state media reported Sunday.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate said about half those detainees were beaten to death, blaming inadequate supervision of police and negligence by prosecutors, the Beijing Times reported.

Of the 15 reported cases, seven died of beatings, three were classified as suicides and two were described as accidents, procuratorate officials said on a videoconference call on Friday, according to the report.

The three remaining cases were still being investigated, it added.

Prosecutors were told that some of the deaths could have been prevented had they done their jobs properly, the report said.

China's public security ministry has launched a three-month investigation into conditions in detention centres in response to mounting public anger over the recent deaths, including those of three teenagers.

A public security ministry conference last week was told procurate officials would supervise the installation of improved camera monitoring systems in all detention centres and that they must be operating by September 30, the report said.

The systems would allow legal officials to directly monitor what goes on, the report said.

Earlier this month, the official Xinhua news agency reported that a drug addict serving a 10-day sentence was found comatose in his cell and died in hospital in the southeast city of Fuzhou.

Days before Liu Yushan, 35, died "suddenly" of possible heart problems in a Foshan city jail in southern Guangdong province. Another detainee died in the same city last month after he "fell off his bed and hurt his head," Xinhua reported.

Prosecutors have also accused police of torturing a teenager to death last month in north Shanxi province while trying to extract a confession, state media said.

Reports have also surfaced of two youths who died recently at a juvenile detention centre in central Hunan province. Their parents have said their large open wounds suggested they were victims of police brutality.

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China pledges to improve human rights
Beijing (AFP) April 13, 2009
China pledged Monday to improve human rights throughout the country, in a highly publicised plan issued ahead of the 20th anniversary of the deadly crushing of the Tiananmen democracy protests.

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