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China: And we don't stop

Categories: East Asia, China, Breaking News, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Sport

First blind reproductive rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng [1] was charged in August last year [2] for destruction of property and instigating a riot and sentenced to four years in prison, and land rights lawyer Guo Feixiong [3] was arrested in September charged with running an illegal printing press out of his home, terms of sentence yet to be made public.

gahu.jpg [4]

Then on January first [5], the day new rules granting foreign journalists increased freedom to interview Chinese citizens [6] came into effect, all-round human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng [7], his wife, his fourteen year-old daughter and three year-old son were forcibly removed from their home and rushed out of Beijing [8] by an entourage of around twenty state security agents, according to posts on Gao's blog, now being updated by AIDS activist friend Hu Jia [9], himself having been under house arrest for the past six months.

From a post [10] dated January 2, 2007:

中国大陆刚刚过去的2007年元旦是个特殊的日子,这一天《北京奥运会及其筹备期外国记者在华采访规定》开始正式生效。其中第六条”外国记者在华采访,只需征得被采访单位和个人的同意。”这意味着中国政府至少名义上不再给外国记者的采访设置大量无理的限制,这是和国际接轨的必要步骤。早在此规定颁布的 2006年12月1日,就有外国驻华媒体的记者们开始摩拳擦掌,准备好好用实践检验一下这个条款。究竟它是骗人的摆设,虚假的”牌坊”,还是真正能兑现的奥林匹克承诺。检验的绝好方法就是去采访被非法拘禁或者监控的异议人士。那么,采访被北京市公安局国保总队的”盖世太保”们严密拘禁的高智晟律师或是他的家人,成为海外驻华媒体的重要选题。

The new year's eve 2007 just past was a special day in mainland China, it was the day the Regulations on Reporting Activities in China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory Period came formally into effect. Among them is item six, ‘foreign journalists carrying out interviews in China only need to verify consent from the interviewee's work unit.’ This suggests that at least in theory the Chinese government no longer places numerous restrictions on foreign journalists carrying out interviews. This is a necessary step to get in line with international norms. When this was announced back on December 1, 2006, foreign media journalists stationed in China began wringing their hands in anticipation, preparing to fully test out this new clause. Turns out it was window dressing from liars, a fake ‘landmark’, that the Olympic promise might be truly honored. The best test method would be to go and interview those dissenters under illegal detention or supervision. Thus, interviewing lawyer Gao Zhisheng or his family, under strict detention by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau National Security Squad “Gestapo”, has become an important subject for overseas media stationed in China.


But, what occurs to overseas journalists, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau National Security Squad can think up too, all the more so for the heads of the Public Security Bureau Department of Domestic Security and Defense and the Central Government's Politics and Law Committee's battle experience-rich “Gestapo”. Taking aim at lawyer Gao Zhisheng's Olympics Human Rights Case, widely watched by the world, in order to eradicate future trouble, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau National Security Squad has prevented any foreign journalists from interviewing Gao Zhisheng or his wife, son or daughter by escorting his entire family out of Beijing under the cover of night.

A post the next day [11] says Gao and his family's whereabouts remained unknown, followed by a January 6 post [12] which reports that Gao is currently back in his hometown in northwestern Shaanxi province [13].

There are still 584 days left until the opening of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics [14], Hu writes at the end of his January 2nd post [10].