Canada vs China: Arrest, Detention and Trial Differences

There are marked differences on how people are arrested, go to trial and convicted in Canada and China. I have read so many first hand accounts of Chinese arrest and torture that they are too numerous to mention. There are many common methods used in China, and common through numerous different areas of China. The differences are stark: Canada adheres to the Rule of Law, human rights and transparency, while China is very uncertain, oblique, and treated on a case-by-case, “Rule-is-law”, basis.

The one rare case of human rights lawyer Xie Yang, is not only well planned but also well documented. He even prepared a process of what is lawyers should do when he was forced to confess for his crime. In the end under torture he did confess in writing and on TV, as he had predicted, and implicated his coworkers.



Contact Family: Family not informed. People can disappear for long periods of time, location unknown to family, friends and lawyer. Time in jail unknown. This may be illegal but widely done. Police may put family and friends of accused under 7/24 surveillance. Contact Family: Family informed. Family is not arrested. No police surveilance
Implications for Family: Family members, friends, coworkers can also be arrested and detained, even though they did not do the illegal activity. Mothers and fathers of the accused may be visited by police and or detained themselves. Police may put family and friends of accused under 7/24 surveillance. Implications for Family: Family, friends, coworkers is not arrested. No police surveillance
Torture: Illegal but widely used. Confessions from torture are admissible in court. Psychological and physical abuse is common. Confessions are common. Torture usually reserved for Chinese people Torture: Illegal. All evidence is inadmissible in court
Medical Treatment: Foreigners are usually not physically tortured or hurt in China. For Chinese people they can be seriously hurt by physical torture. Medical Treatment is usually nor provided or is inadequate. You can die or be permanently injured awaiting trial or in jail. Medical Treatment: Medical treatment is always provided
Police Interrogation: Lawyer almost always absent. Documents of the session not given to accused or lawyers. Police can pretty well do whatever they wish, including physical and psychological torture Police Interrogation: Lawyer must be present, unless accused waives right
Bail: I have never heard of getting bail in China Bail: Lawyer is present, bail hearing is public, charges are read publicly, all transparent
Trial: Lawyer may not be present, trial is very short, evidence for accused may be supressed, trials are extremely short, as in 20 minutes Trial: Lawyer required to be present, charges are read publicly, evidence presented in public, all transparent
Trial Length of Time: Really fast, as in 20 minutes Trial Length of Time: Slow
Confession: Confession in writing is pretty much guaranteed. For foreigners, followed by deportation from country, forever, their careers in China are finished. High profile accused can be taped and shown on TV for the world to see. Confession: Confession in writing usually only if accused willingly provides it
Capital Punishment: Possible. I have not heard of this happening to a foreigner, but this happens all the time to Chinese. Capital Punishment: Outlawed
Legality: Mostly legal under Chinese law. I have not heard of police being charged for illegal acts. Legality: Legal in Canada
Transparency: Very difficult to determine where and how a case will end up, who will be hurt and how. Extremely opaque Transparency: All processes are predetermined by law. Very transparent

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