Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No Dissent Allowed in Communist Paradise

The Washington Post
In China, Would-Be Protesters Pay a Price
Nation Had Promised Outlet During Games

ZHANGZHOU, China -- When Ji Sizun heard that the Chinese government had agreed to create three special zones in Beijing for peaceful public protests during the 2008 Summer Olympics, he celebrated. He said in an interview at the time that he believed the offer was sincere and represented the beginning of a new era for human rights in China.

Ji, 59, a self-taught legal advocate who had spent 10 years fighting against corrupt officials in his home province of Fujian on China's southeastern coast, immediately packed his bags and was one of the first in line in Beijing to file his application to protest.

It is now clear that his hope was misplaced.

In the end, official reports show, China never approved a single protest application -- despite its repeated pledges to improve its human rights record when it won the bid to host the Games. Some would-be applicants were taken away by force by security officials and held in hotels to prevent them from filing the paperwork. Others were scared away by warnings that they could face "difficulties" if they went through with their applications.

Ji has spent the past eight months in various states of arrest and detention. In January, he was sentenced to three years in prison, the maximum penalty allowed, on charges of faking official seals on documents he filed on behalf of his clients. Ji is appealing.

I knew before the Olympics that all this talk about allowing protests was propaganda BS. There's no way the CCP will allow any dissent when the primary goal is maintaining their hold on power and wealth. Why risk their privileged lifestyle just to listen to some poor peasants?

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