The Ten-Year Persecution of Falun Gong Is Illegal (Part 3)
5. Even Within the Framework of the Chinese Communist Party's Legal System, the Persecution is Illegal (Continued)
The methods by which the Chinese Communist Party imposes forced labor upon Dafa disciples are illegal, even according to Chinese law. Article 37 of the Chinese Constitution states, "Citizens' personal freedom shall not be infringed upon. They may not be placed under arrest without approval from the Procuratorate or court and executed by public security organs. Illegal detention and other acts to deprive citizens' personal freedoms are prohibited." Administrative forced labor does not follow legitimate legal processes, does not require a trial, and does not provide an avenue of appeal for those punished by forced labor. The sole decision-making body is the Education Through Forced Labor Committee, which is in turn controlled by the public security bureau or the local Party apparatus. This mechanism of administrative forced labor can strip a citizen of his or her freedom for up to three years initially with a provision for a one-year extension. This is clearly a violation of the Constitution.
In addition, the institution of forced labor is in direct conflict with statutes on legislation and administrative punishment. Article 8 of the Chinese Legislation Law states, "Punishments stripping citizens' political rights and/or restricting their personal freedom can only be enacted by legislation." Article 9 of the Chinese Administrative Punishment Code states, "Administrative punishments restricting citizens' personal freedom can only be enacted by legislation." Article 10 of the same code states, "The Administrative Punishment Code may enact administrative punishments that do not restrict a citizen's personal freedom." The longest period of detention allowed under existing administrative law is 15 days. Forced labor, which in effect restricts a person's freedom and amounts to detention, can last up to four years.
The institution of forced labor has also violated international conventions to which China is a signatory, including the International Convention on Citizens' Rights and Political Rights. The UN convention states that all decisions stripping a person of freedom for a sustained period of time must go through a legitimate legal process, concluding with a court decision.
Finally, the forced labor system is a violation of the foundation of the rule of law. A forced labor sentence is mainly decided upon and carried out by the public security apparatus, without oversight from other branches of government. This amounts to circumventing the checks and balances between the legislative, public security, and judicial arms of the government, allowing the public security apparatus to decide upon and immediately carry out punishments on its own. The process is even less transparent than a normal court trial, where formal defense, audits by external parties, and appeals are all bypassed. It's a huge loophole in the system that is exploited to punish dissidents and other "enemies" of the CCP without due process of law.