I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. In this issue, you will find a sample response to President Hu Jintao’s article about malicious cultural infiltration by hostile forces, items about Wukan, how China practices law, why a couple who were dying to see each other had a hard time reuniting, the deluge of confidential user information, and more. Click date below for link to the original.
- 张鸣 /Zhang Ming/(Professor of political science at People’s University of China)/: Chinese have no American TV to watch, cannot access American websites. Americans are not allowed to open schools in China. On the other hand, China can set up TV, websites and schools in the US. The US has no Great Fire Wall to keep others out either. So, who is infiltrating whom? When you talk about this [infiltration in the cultural sphere by western hostile forces], have you closed all of your Confucius Colleges in other countries?
Wukan is quiet now. So it seems. The two items below, hopefully, will give you some sense of what it is like there:
- 健婉/Jian Wan/(the 21-year-old daughter of Xue Jinbo 薛锦波, the protest leader who died in police custody) /: If we want my father’s body back, he must “have died of illness.” If we reject this conclusion [imposed on us], we must agree to their proposal to have an autopsy. How I wish my dad could say to me one more time, “Don’t be afraid! Daddy is here.” How I miss him!
- Monifer11/(netizen)/: 8 surveillance cameras have been set up in Wukan, pointing from all directions to the home of Lin Zulian (林祖銮), the elderly leader of the village petition.
On December 29, 2011, 15 people were given death sentences in a “public trial” in front of thousands of people in, of all places, Hunan University (湖南大学). You can take your time to wonder why it had to be “public” while all trials of political prisoners are held secretly and why it had to be held in a university. A lot of people, like myself, were puzzled why all of the offenders wore a rather incongruous white scarf around their necks. Lo and behold, someone quickly provided three pictures online to answer the question (only the last is from the Hunan trial). It turns out that everyone has a noose around their neck that can be pulled instantly to tighten in case the offender makes unseemly shouts (such as “I am innocent!”) , and the white scarf is there to cover it:
Liu Xiaoyuan is a Chinese lawyer who has dealt with many cases involving “subversion” charges, rights struggles, and Ai Weiwei. His law firm is not suspended per se, but it’s been six months since the government refused to ratify the firm’s license in the annual review. Meanwhile, he continues to travel, offering legal assistance to citizens.
- liu_xiaoyuan刘晓原律师 /Lawyer Liu Xiao Yuan/: This is the first time I am in Chongqing (重庆) for a case. Ding Huimin, a sent-down youth [during the Cultural Revolution] and a long-time rights activist, has been subjected to “reeducation through labor.” He is trying to file an administrative procedure against the decision, but the court refuses to accept his filing. I visited the First Intermediate Court, the municipal Supreme Court, the municipal Congress of People’s Representative, and the municipal Procuratorate, and came back with nothing. The law provides that administrative procedures can be filed against administrative penalty that limits the physical freedom of the punished, and the notice of “reeducation through labor” Ding received also states that he has the right to do so. Then why does the court in Chongqing refuse to abide by the law?
In an earlier issue of Heard on Weibo, I had an item about a couple, both activists, who were subjected to “reeducation through labor” but would finally reunite soon. Well, they did, and below is the fiancée’s account of their reunion:
- wangyi09王译/Wang Yi/: I arrived in Wuxi (无锡) a little past midnight last night. Hua Chunhui (华春辉) picked me up from the station. Just as we reached our apartment building but before we even walked up the stairs, security police descended right in front of us, stopping me from going upstairs. They took me to a hotel, and took Hua Chunhui away with them.
In the hotel, the police told the fiancée to go back to Zhengzhou, Henan (河南郑州), where she came from, or they will not let go of Hua who is a diabetes patient. So she left, and the couple is once again hundreds of miles apart in what must be a cold winter for them.
Throughout the last days of 2011, user data of websites large and small in China was leaked, available for anyone to download. People were guessing what this was all about and who did this. But it is believed to have to do with the implementation of weibo real name verification.
- cdjboy JeffreyChan /(netizen)/: Early 2010, a certain government organ requested all major websites to submit their user password databases in cleartext. The Chinese government wants to use them to monitor domestic users’ accounts outside the GFW. Google rejected the request. After that, this government organ began to use the cleartext password databases [it had obtained from other sites] to scan gmail. Google caught the activities and withdrew from China. Soon afterwards, Google offered its users the two-step Authenticator.
I am sorry for bringing you no cheerful stories in the first issue of 2012. To make up for that, I offer you the year of the dragon stamp newly-issued by the Chinese postal office: