The World of Chinese


- – TAN YUNFEI (谭云飞)

“I cannot recognize people, not even my own sons,” Zhang Yuhuan told the Paper on August 4, the day he was acquitted of murder after 9,778 days in prison.

In 1995, 26-year-old Zhang was convicted for killing two children in his village in Jiangxi province, though he said he had been tortured to confess, and gave two contradict­ory testimonie­s. Zhang appealed until the Jiangxi High People’s Court agreed to review his case in 2018.

According to research by the Renmin University of China, there were 847 wrongful conviction­s in China from 2002 to 2018, with the subjects confined for 974 days on average. The problem derives from the lack of independen­ce between the police, prosecutor­s, and the court.

Zhang has applied for over 22.3 million RMB in compensati­on and a public apology from the court. However, he told Haibao News, “No millions can make up for the 27 years I’ve lost.”

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