Friday, 26 August 2011

Changing the Rules

There was huge outrage around the world when artist and activist Ai Weiwei was detained by police in April and no one knew where he was for several months.
 
That kind of detainment is illegal in Chinese law, but now the government is moving to make it above board.
 
An article in the Legal Daily website says there is draft legislation that includes a new exception to the provision of residential surveillance that would allow police to detain suspects in a "designated residence" other than their home in state security, terrorism or major corruption cases "where carrying out residential surveillance in the home may impede investigation."
 
This decision would need to be approved by the procuratorate (provincial or state prosecutor) or public security organ at a higher level.
 
This means that the police can hold someone for up to six months without telling anyone of the person's whereabouts or the charges against them on the pretext of "impeding the investigation".
 
And so if the law is passed, the detainments of such people as Ai, Liu Xiaobo and others would be completely above the law.

It's already bad enough that these people don't even get access to a lawyer when they are first taken by police and now the government wants to make that legal.
 
It's another attempt by Beijing to shut out its dissenters in any way it can. Not only does it reveal its extreme repressive nature, but also its immense fear in any criticism of its policies.
 
A sore loser, the government would rather change the rules of the game than try to be a good sportsman.

Bullying does not win. See examples Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and now Muammar Gaddafi.




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