Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fighting city hall in China

There's an old saying that you can't fight city hall. In China it seems to be literal. Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has been secretly put on trial for "subversion". His crime? Apparently he was winning too many cases against the government, and forcing it to abide by its own laws rather than making things up as it went along. Those who benefit from the latter approach were clearly displeased by this, and so now he is facing 15 years in prison.

China is supposedly trying to clean up its human rights record in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Unfortunately they seem to be doing it by sweeping the whole issue under the carpet and jailing anyone who speaks out.