The prosecutors strike back: no revenge on informants

Procuratorial Daily, June 22, 2010

Seventy-percent of people who report suspected crimes to the public prosecutors face some form of revenge, according to an article in the June 18 edition of the Legal Daily.

The Legal Daily report did not provide any of the data behind the 70% figure, which was embedded in a discussion of the various forms of retaliation against informants. Today's Procuratorial Daily quotes a source within the Supreme People's Procuratorate who dismissed the 70% figure as "inaccurate, biased, and not reflective of the true situation."

He explained that in 2009, the number of reports that procuratorial agencies had received from the public had climbed 4.6% over the previous year, and among those, the number of reports against officials at or above the county level had risen 7%. Reports from the public continued to rise during the first five months of this year. According to the individual, this data demonstrates that the rights of informants have received thorough protection, and public enthusiasm for reporting crimes is continuing to surge.

The source said that procuratorial agencies have always attached a high degree of importance to protecting informants and have exercised strict confidentiality. In recent years there have been no cases of informants being subject to revenge because of leaked information from the procuratorial agencies.

The original article put a different spin on the data:

...the Supreme People's Procuratorate launched an online platform for reporting crimes in 2001, but reports started to decline in 2002, a trend that did not reverse itself until 2009. The reason for that change was the launch of a national reporting hotline, 12309, launched by procuratorial agencies on June 22, 2009. In the year since the hotline's launch, the SPP has received 290,000 reports, involving 7,074 officials at or above the county level.

Today's Beijing Times quotes a source (without giving an affiliation) with some other figures:

Wang Xiaoxin said that from 2007 to 2009, the country's procuratorial agencies reveid 481,000 reports, 276,617 of which fell under their jurisdiction. The average annual number of cases of revenge upon informants was less than 200. "And roughly 30-40% of these reports were done under actual names. The rest were anonymous, and the identity of the informant was unknown. How could 70% of informants be subject to revenge?"

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