Insane World

Chinese man wrongfully convicted released from prison after 27 years

A man languishing in a prison for 27 years in eastern China was acquitted of murder and freed.

Zhang Yuhuan said he was tortured by police and forced to confess to the murder of two young boys in 1993.

He was China’s longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate, after having served 9,778 days in the prison in Jiangxi province.

Prosecutors who reopened the case said his confession had inconsistencies and did not match the original crime.

He walked free after a high court found there was not enough evidence to justify his conviction.

Observers say China is growing more willing to quash wrongful convictions, but only criminal not political.

Chinese social media sites was flooded with visuals of Zhang reuniting with his 83-year-old mother and his ex-wife after his release.

His former wife, Song Xiaonyu, had two sons with Mr Zhang before they divorced 11 years ago. She remarried but continued to help her former husband with his appeal.

“I was so excited when I heard the court’s announcement,” said Ms Song.

Mr Zhang was told by the court that he was entitled to compensation for wrongful conviction.

Mr Zhang’s ordeal began in October 1993 when the bodies of two boys were discovered in a village reservoir in Jinxian, a county of Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi.

Mr Zhang was a neighbour of the victims and was identified as a suspect and detained.

In January 1995, a court in Nanchang found him guilty and sentenced him to death but allowed the sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment after he served two years.

Mr Zhang said he was tortured by police during interrogations and continued to maintain his innocence.

Despite this, his appeals were unsuccessful. Then, in March 2019 the high court agreed to retry the case and in July provincial prosecutors recommended Mr Zhang be acquitted based on insufficient evidence.

The killer of the two boys in 1993 remains unknown.