Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lawyers Call for Reform of Re-Education Through Labor, Baidu Bans Tieba Forums on RETL

On August 16, 2012, the China Daily published an article entitled "Lawyers Calling for Reform of Laojiao System." Some excerpts:
"Standing regulations do not require laojiao management committees to release a written verdict to explain how their decisions were made, so it’s difficult to know if a decision was fair," said Li Fangping, an author of the letter and a Beijing lawyer known for his work in protecting the rights of people with HIV. 
The letter was sent to the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice. In it, the lawyers wrote that the laojiao system is neither transparent nor well-supervised.
. . . .
The letter came amid a storm of criticism that arose after the mother of a rape victim was made to undergo laojiao for repeatedly petitioning authorities. 
Tang Hui, 39, was accused of "seriously disturbing the social order and exerting a negative impact on society" and sent on Aug 2 to a laojiao center in Hunan province’s Yongzhou to serve an 18-month sentence. 
Tang had accused the city police of falsifying evidence in order to reduce the sentences handed down to those who were responsible for the kidnap, rape and forced prostitution of her daughter, who was 11 years old when the crimes occurred.
This screenshot, taken on August 19, shows that a search for "Re-Education Through Labor" (劳教) on Baidu's Tieba Forum returns the following notice: "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum cannot be open at this time." (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。).