July 18, 2008
Protesting Sichuan parents detained
Here's a report from Radio Free Asia on police detentions of parents protesting shoddy school construction. Although some predicted a new era of openness and citizen activism following the tremendous social response to the Sichuan earthquake, the government seems to have reverted quickly to form, with local authorities suppressing inquiries into the cause of widespread school collapses and the central government standing by, complicit certainly in effect and probably in intent.
The parents of children killed in school collapses are going to be very difficult to deal with. Many feel that having lost their only children, they have nothing else left to lose. I think it's very likely that some number of them - how many, it's impossible to know, but certainly more than a negligible number - will become diehard petitioners: the type who simply won't give up no matter what the government tries by way of threats and cajolery, even though there is no possibility that the government will yield. The authorities have already brought out the "emotionally unstable" label; is this a sign that obstreperous parents may ultimately disappear into what purports to be a psychiatric facility?
July 16, 2008
List of on-line Chinese law databases
July 15, 2008
Photo series: female capital convicts just before execution
Here is a somewhat ghoulish set of photographs posted on the Duowei forum site entitled "The Execution Process of Beautiful Capital Convicts" (美女死刑犯被处决过程). I can't vouch for their authenticity or even their approximate dates. I post them with a bit of hesitation, but if they are authentic then their informational value outweighs their prurient appeal.
JULY 19th UPDATE: Flora Sapio, an expert in this field, has some comments that are too important to be left, probably unnoticed, in the "Comments" section:
Somewhat ghoulish but very interesting nonetheless. Difficult to tell the genuine from the fake ones. Some of them raise some doubts. For instance, some of the people portrayed wear PAP uniforms. To my knowledge, the PAP seldom parades criminals. Besides some of the women in the pictures are simply too well dressed, while others look too relaxed. Also notice the "binding technique" that they used on the criminals. Too complicated. Compare it to the one that can be seen in pictures published by the Renmin Ribao and other official websites. Don't know. It would require a bit of time analyse these pictures. Also, one would need to known when they were taken, and in which province.