Despite the ham-handed deliverance of the 2008 Olympics to Beijing, the issue of China and human rights has been and continues to be an extremely bad joke. Despite the sidelines pom-pom waving of the IOC, the long parade of international organizations and corporations who have been deep in the sheets with the CCP, things have not improved, unless, of course, you’re thumbing through your wallet. Under the reign of Hu Jintao, the chief engineer of an ethnic policy that would make the dead emperors of the foreign Qing dynasty spin like tops in their tourist mausoleums, the rights of all Chinese continue to be rubbished. In the sneakiest (and most transparent) of fashions, Liu Xiaobo, one of the co-authors of Charter 08, was sentenced today – Christmas Day – to 11 years in prison, as if the critical west is too stuffed and sleepy to have noticed. Chalk up another victory for oppression, a la Kim Jong-il. I guess the lesson here is that you can build a gazillion designer malls but it’s still hard to get rid of the foul stink of ignorant tyranny. Money doesn’t change everything.
And lets not forget Hu Jia and so many other Chinese who have been imprisoned for their activism, ideas and writings.
Update December 30, 2009: Also visit Global Voices Online’s post China: Cui Weiping tweets elite views on Liu Xiaobo for Chinese reactions to Liu’s sentence, such as the one below from Xu Youyu, CASS researcher and signer of Charter 08:
The crime Liu Xiaobo was sentenced for was based on Charter 08. The Charter was a reaffirmation of the United Nations [Universal] Declaration on Human Rights, therefore Liu’s sentence defies civilized norms widely recognized by humankind. It also defies the current Chinese constitution, because the constitution clearly states that Chinese citizens possess freedom of speech. To be frank, it flies in the face of the Chinese people and human conscience in general.