Human rights protection is becoming a priority of China's judiciary work as more than 2,200 bullies were found in detention centers last year, even with reports of inmate deaths.
Among the 2,207 prison bullies, 123 were referred to prosecution, Procurator-General Cao Jianming told nearly 3,000 lawmakers at the annual parliament session on Thursday.
Human rights protection was a keyword in the annual work reports of the Supreme People's Courts (SPC) and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), which were submitted to the Third Session of the 11th National People's Congress, or parliament.
Delivering the SPC report to the congress, Chief Justice Wang Shengjun urged courts to "earnestly handle state compensation work."
Among all the concluded cases of state compensation last year, the courts ruled to compensate for 450 cases with more than 34 million yuan (5 million U.S. dollars), Wang said.
He said efforts should be made to ensure an early realization of these compensation.
Cao, the SPP president, said equal efforts should be given to both crimes crackdown and human rights protection.
He said supervision of extorting confessions by torture, overdue detention and other acts that infringe people's interests, should be enhanced and judicial guarantee of human rights should be strengthened.
Lawmaker Han Deyun, a lawyer with southwestern Chongqing municipality's Suotong Law Office, said the country's judiciary has attached great importance to human rights protection since "respecting and ensuring human rights by the state" was enshrined in the Constitution in 2004.
Han said it is a good sign that both the SPC and the SPP highlighted the human rights protection in their work reports this year.
Lawmaker Zhang Zhonghou, president of the Higher People's Court in eastern Jiangxi Province, said judicial protection of human rights has improved over the years and the protection of detainee's rights and interests has extended to larger areas such as "ensuring suspects speak in defense of themselves and their rights to seeing doctors and working."
Zhang said there are more cases of ordinary citizens bringing government officials to court, a sign of the public's enhanced legal and rights awareness.
He said the quality of law enforcement staff should be further enhanced.
Lawyer Han said judicial workers are supposed to meet higher qualification requirements than administrative staff.
"Maintaining the judiciary's integrity is key to ensuring justice, which is fundamental in judicial protection of human rights," he said.