The title of a recently released New York Times article is ”China Sentences Xu Zhiyong, Legal Activist, to 4 Years in Prison” (Web-site/URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/world/asia/china-sentences-xu-zhiyong-to-4-years-for-role-in-protests.html?smid=tw-share).
“A Chinese court sentenced a prominent legal activist to FOUR years in prison Sunday (January 26 2014) in a case widely seen as a demonstration of the Communist Party leadership’s determination to QUELL any challenges to its hold on power“, AS EXPECTED (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
“The activist, Xu Zhiyong, was convicted of “gathering a crowd to DISTURB PUBLIC ORDER”, a charge that stemmed from his role organizing a grass-roots New Citizens Movement, which sought to give voice to public discontent over OFFICIAL CORRUPTION and SOCIAL INJUSTICE“. There are THREE things to note here. First, the Communist Party (any UNDEMOCRATIC governments for that matter) is/are OBSESSED WITH MAINTAINING “public order”. Secondly, forbidding a “gathering” violates the freedom of PEACEFUL assembly. On top of this, ”corruption” and “social injustices” are both RAMPANT.
“After a judge of the No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court in Beijing announced the guilty verdict and sentence, Mr. Xu DENOUNCED the trial as he was led away by guards, said one of Mr. Xu’s lawyers, Zhang Qingfang. “He said, ‘ The court today (January 26, 2014) has completely destroyed what remained of respect for rule of law in China’ and then he was taken away”. “denounced” is the latest example of BLAMING & CRITICIZING (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-AJviZ8Itk). “He can still appeal, but this outcome was decided by THE SENIOR LEADERS and there’s NO HOPE of changing the verdict” obviously/AS EXPECTED (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
“The State Department criticized the ruling and called on Chinese authorities to release Mr. Xu”. In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “We are CONCERNED that Mr. Xu’s prosecution is RETRIBUTION for his public campaign to expose corruption and for the peaceful expression of his views”. There are TWO things to note here. First the US is “concerned” about Xu but again the US CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS. On top of this “retribution” is another way of saying REVENGE which of course is an AMBASSADOR OF DOOM (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h7cmuRLwME), which China is VERY GOOD at and that is NOT a compliment.
“Mr. Xu’s lawyers UNSUCCESSFULLY challenged the legality of holding separate trials for the New Citizens Movement defendants in Beijing, a move they said prevented them from benefiting from testimony that could help in their defense. Mr. Zhang, one of his lawyers, called the trial last Wednesday (January 22, 2014) “a piece of THEATER”. There are TWO things to note here. “Mr. Xu’s lawyers unsuccessfully challenged the legality of holding separate trials for the New Citizens’ Movement defendants in Beijing” AS EXPECTED (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). On top of this, OF COURSE, this is “a piece of theater”. EVERYTHING that UNDEMOCRATIC governments do is “theater”.
“Nicholas Bequelin, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong, said Mr. Xu’s slapdash prosecution and the sentence were designed to deter others seeking to agitate against the Communist Party’s MONOPOLY on power“. “It sends out the message that the law is essentially a tool for THE PARTY to rule the citizenry, not for the citizenry to CURTAIL the power of the state”. Well “the power of the state” wouldn’t have to be “curtailed” if “the state” was REASONABLE. Unfortunately, this is NOT what we’re dealing with here.
“Liang Xiaojun, a Beijing lawyer, said the imprisonment of Mr. Xu and the likely sentencing of other activists would hobble grass-roots reform efforts for years to come. “After Xu Zhiyong goes inside, there WON’T be anyone who can play a leading role for CIVIL society”. Is Chinese “society…civil?” “It will be VERY DIFFICULT for it to establish nationwide influence and carry out activities” obviously.
“Some supporters were DEFIANT and vowed to fight on. In a Twitter (WEIBO) post, Teng Biao, a legal rights defender who helped establish the New Citizens Movement, described the sentence as A PROVOCATION“. “Prison NEVER SUPPRESSES the people’s will to RESIST, but further ignites people’s FERVOR to FIGHT”. BINGO.
Finally, “By Sunday afternoon (January 26, 2014), a group of Mr. Xu’s supporters had issued a petition vowing to continue the efforts embodied by his organization”. “In China, the cause of CONSCIENCE is sure to suffer attacks, but WE CANNOT RETREAT. We cannot be DELUDED, DESPAIR, FEAR or GIVE UP“. This is exactly what the Chinese government wants the Chinese people to do. ”Make this attack a new starting point”.
To conclude, Xu Zhiyong’s arrest will surely lead to more restrictions on people & SOCIAL MEDIA. Controls on social media in China were already tight but surely the Chinese authorities will CLAMP DOWN EVEN HARDER because of all the commentary and opinions about Xu Zhiyong’s arrest.