China Continues To Seduce Us With Its Quaint, Draconian CharmsTwo elderly Chinese women who had applied for a permit to protest at the Olympics have finally had their request reviewed by the Beijing police. The verdict? Of course it's re-education at a labor camp for both. Thanks for writing in! Also, as I understand it, at their hearing one of the women was replaced with a more attractive old lady who lip-synced her defense.
The two women, both in their late 70s, have never spoken out against China’s authoritarian government. Both walk with the help of a cane, and Ms. Wang is blind in one eye. Their grievance, receiving insufficient compensation when their homes were seized for redevelopment, is perhaps the most common complaint among Chinese displaced during the country’s long streak of fast economic growth. But the Beijing police still sentenced the two women to an extrajudicial term of “re-education through labor” this week for applying to hold a legal protest in a designated area in Beijing, where officials promised that Chinese could hold demonstrations during the Olympic Games.
At least IOC chairman Jacques Rogge has things in perspective. When the world complained about the choice of Beijing for the Games, Mr. Rogge assured us that it would be an opportunity for the Chinese to improve their record in the area human rights. That certainly worked out! You just keep fighting the good fight, Mr. Rogge ... like criticizing Udain Bolt for excessive celebration. Too Old And Frail To Re-Educate? Not In China [New York Times]