» 04/29/2010, 00.00
Pre-Expo “cleansing”, dissidents arrested, sent to camps
The People’s Republic of China has begun cleansing Shanghai of its dissidents and human rights activists in preparation of the official opening of the Shanghai World Expo, scheduled for 1 May. Some undesirables are arrested; others are sent to láojiào (re-education-through-labour) camps; those from neighbouring provinces are “invited” not to come for the Expo.
Shanghai Expo, turnout lower than expected, long queues, more arrests
Hour long queues to see most important pavilions, widespread protests of visitors. But visitors are much lower than estimates, which now appear completely wrong. Meanwhile, continuing arrests and convictions of rights activists to prevent any protest in Shanghai.
Shanghai gets ready for Expo 2010 with more than 6,000 arrests
Police describes the crackdown as routine security sweep ahead of expo, which opens on 1 May. Experts wonder whether dissidents and pro-rights activists are among the detainees. Mega security measures are being put in place. Some pavilions are already open.
More forced labour camps without trial for human rights defenders in Beijing
Hua Chunhui and Wei Qiang were sentenced to ‘re-education through labour’ camps. In China, at least 40 activists are held illegally and another 18 have “disappeared”. In Hong Kong, someone spray-painted stencil drawings of detained mainland artist Ai Weiwei. For police, it is an offence that deserves an investigation.
Party divided over arresting all (or some) Charter 08 signers
Some in the Politburo would like to repress the entire democratic movement; Hu Jintao is thinking only of blocking the core group of original signers. Party elders have published an open letter asking for political reforms - in the style of Charter 08 - to stop corruption and abuse of power.
UN committee: Beijing should apologize to Tiananmen victims
The committee against torture calls upon China to ask forgiveness for the massacre of students, and to provide information on the people still in prison. It also expresses the hope for "full and impartial" investigations to clarify the affair and punish the guilty. The UN also calls for an end to torture.
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