China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) has pledged to hand down harsh punishments against cover-ups of work safety accidents and duty-related crimes involving officials.
Procuratorates at all levels should speed up the arrest approval and prosecution of people who are responsible for serious or very serious accidents caused by illegal production in high-risk sectors, such as coal mining and hazardous chemical industries, a SPP statement said.
Severe punishment should be imposed on people in charge who have tried to conceal the truth by reporting belatedly or giving false information about accidents, said the statement.
The SPP also vows to severely punish corrupt officials who help shield people involved in severe accidents from investigation or penalty.
Efforts should be made by procuratorates across China to tighten supervision to avoid soft punishments, such as substituting an administrative penalty for criminal punishment, said the SPP.
Safety hazards are common in China's coal production industry. Official data showed that 1,384 people were killed in coal mine accidents in 2012.
(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2013)