Early in 2005, a man in Northern China confessed to a murder that had taken place ten years previously. Reports say that he gave a detailed description of the scene where he claimed to have raped and then killed a young woman. On the strength of the confession, the judicial authorities accepted the man’s guilt.The problem was, they had already executed another man for the murder. Nie Shubin, a young farmer, had been found guilty of the rape and murder in 1995 after reportedly being tortured in police custody. His family are now seeking official compensation. But of course, nothing will bring Nie back.
In a separate case, Tang Xingshan was found guilty of murdering his wife in 1987. He insisted he was innocent and claimed that he had only confessed because he was severely beaten during the interrogations. His pleas were ignored and he was executed in 1989.In June 2006, Teng’s wife – the alleged murder victim – reappeared. Alive and unharmed. The murder for which Teng had been executed had never taken place.
The above is quoted from the literature of Amnesty International. China is preparing for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The Chinese authorities are particularly sensitive right now about how they are regarded by the international community. I support Amnesty International’s campaign to reform and ultimately abolish China’s use of the death penalty.