In a further demonstration of China’s complete failure to honor its promises on the treatment of protests, two elderly women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, are facing a year of “reeducation through labor” because they applied for permits to demonstrate during the Olympics.
The women went to Chinese police five times between Aug. 5 and 18 to obtain permits to protest against officials who evicted them from their homes in 2001.
On the fourth visit, the women were told that they had been ordered to serve time for “disturbing the public order” until July 29, 2009.
Nevertheless, Wu and Wang tried to return a fifth time to inquire again about their protest application and were told that they had lost the ability to even apply to protest.
Labor reeducation is generally reserved for “prostitutes and thieves,” but appears to be as useful for dealing with Chinese citizens who have the audacity to seek a lawful permit.
In order to secure the Olympic games, China made a series of promises that it promptly broke, including to allow protests in three parks during the Olympic Games Aug. 8-24. The Chinese admit to receiving at least 77 such applications, but has approved none and the games are almost over.
Wang Wei, executive vice president of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, actually points to the absence of protests as proof that there is nothing to protest in the perfect worker’s paradise known as the People’s Republic of China.
As usual, the IOC itself has pretended to care with no real response. Spokeswoman Giselle Davies recently stated “to date, what had been announced publicly doesn’t appear in reality to be happening, and a number of questions are being asked. The IOC is keen to see those questions answered by the relevant authorities.” Wow, that will put the Chinese leadership back on its heels. “Questions are being asked”? There are only a few days left in the games. The IOC was fully aware that it was holding games in a repressive country and engaged in willful blindness to pretend that reforms would be made — despite every indication to the contrary.
The IOC itself has been a constant source of corruption and mismanagement. It found a perfect partner in the Chinese government. Indeed, the IOC leadership might want to enjoy the reeducation programs with these two old ladies being sponsored by its host.
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