4 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 01/21/2013
CHINA
Forced labor camps, Party game continues amid announcements and denials
by Chen Weijun
For the third time in a month an official voice of the Communist regime announces the closing of laojiao, the fields of "re-education through labor" set up by Mao Zedong to silence opposition and now used against Christians, Falun Gong practitioners and dissidents. The first two were denied in the following days. The struggle for reform inside the CCP.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese communist regime continues to send contrasting signals regarding reforms, especially those related to human rights and the rule of law. After a month of announcements and denials, today, state media reported statements by a senior government official stating that the controversial system of forced labor camps is expected to be abolished "by the end of 2013." However, such statements were published, and later denied on at least two occasions in January.

The last in order of time was made by Chen Jiping, deputy director of the China Law Society. According to the China Daily, the official newspaper close to the Party, the official was part of a high-level meeting that decided to limit the use of labour camps until the National People's Congress (NPC, the "Chinese Parliament ") meets, the only body able to abolish the whole system of laojiao [re-education through labour -ed.] The meeting is scheduled for March, when the new government headed by Xi Jinping enters into force.

According to Chen, "the system of forced labor camps should be abolished by 2013. It was a useful tool while the Communist Party consolidated its power, but today we have a strong rule of law and therefore no longer needed laojiao . Yet to entirely abolish them the approval of the highest legislative body, which introduced them in 1953, is needed".

Before Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of the Committee for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China. had spoken on the issue of "State gulags" and an open editorial in the People's Daily. Both announcements, however, were later contradicted by other officials who made it clear: a "reform" of the system is under discussion not its abolition.

Born as rehabilitation centres for counter-revolutionaries and common criminals, the laojiao have become over time a tool to silence dissidents and critics of the Communist Party. With a hotly contested reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government has allowed the police to hold any Chinese citizen for three years in labor camps without a judgment of a court of law.

Unofficial estimates say that between 190 thousand to 2 million people are interned in laojiao. The China Daily says that there are approximately 320 laojiao labor camps, where 500 thousand people are locked up, most criminals from the drugs world. In these labor camps - organized as farms or industries - the prisoners have a punishing schedule, up to 12-15 hours, and are given a minimum monthly wage. Here, unofficial Christians, Catholic bishops and priests and members of the Falun Gong sect are detained and still held.

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/08/2013 CHINA
Reform of the labor camps, the skepticism of civil society
02/07/2013 CHINA
Guangdong and Yunnan announce the abolition of forced labor camps (laojiao)
by Chen Weijun
11/14/2007 CHINA
Condemned to forced labour for seeking Political reform of Party
01/26/2013 CHINA
Asylums and mutilation: China’s new forms of torture
by Chen Weijun
04/29/2010 CHINA
Pre-Expo “cleansing”, dissidents arrested, sent to camps

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.