Top lawmakers mull amnesty for prisoners who took part in wars

Updated: 2015-08-24 18:15

By Cao Yin(

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Four types of prisoners in the country are set to be released under a special amnesty being considered by the top legislature.

Prisoners who had taken part in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and China's War of Liberation (1946-49), before committing their respective crimes, are expected to be freed by special pardon under a proposal submitted by the Legal Affairs Commission on Monday.

Inmates who helped fight foreign invaders and protect the national sovereignty, including those in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (1950-53), will also be pardoned under the proposed amnesty, which is being discussed among top legislators, or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

But prisoners whose convictions are related to graft, bribery, terror attacks and national security will not be applicable to the amnesty, the proposal said.

Meanwhile, recidivists and principal criminals in gang-related offenses are not eligible for the amnesty in line with the draft decision.

The proposed amnesty will also cover inmates who are older than 75, seriously handicapped and cannot live on their own, and those who committed crimes when they were younger than 18 and sentenced to less than three years in prison.

Minors who have less than a year remaining in their sentences will also be released under the proposed amnesty.

All prisoners who are eligible for release under the amnesty should have served sentences before January 1, 2015 and judicial authorities must ensure that they do not commit any crime and bring damage to the public when they are freed, according to the draft.

The special amnesty is an important legal item written into the Chinese Constitution, in a bid to remit certain inmates' punishments or crimes.

Since 1949, special amnesty has been granted seven times, often before major anniversaries or conferences. The latest proposal comes before the 70th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

The latest move is part of the central government's push in 2013 to fully implement the rule of law and to enforce and respect the Constitution, the commission said.