Wednesday, August 20, 2008
This is just preposterous. Two elderly women in China have been sentenced to perform labor as punishment for attempting to protest what they felt was inadequate compensation for the demolition of their homes in Beijing. The women, Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, wanted to protest in an area designated as a "protest area" by the government itself. However, it seems as if the government did not actually intend to let anyone protest in these "protest areas," as it has denied around 77 applications from people wishing to organize demonstrations. Because the two elderly women were persistent, they have been sentenced to "re-education through labor," known as laojiao, which is often given to political and religious dissenters, and those who commit minor crimes. The two women will most likely be forced to perform agricultural or factory work, although one of them is nearly blind. Here I thought they respected the elderly in China.