Saturday, 23 June 2007

Free Chen Guangcheng

Regular readers of my old blog Liberal Legend (Mark 1) will recall that I highlighted the case of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng who was jailed for leading protests against forced abortion and sterilisation in Shandong Province, China.

Sadly it appears that, much as expected, Chen has suffered beatings in prison at the hands of fellow prisoners according to a BBC report for daring to try to appeal against his conviction on trumped up charges.

Amnesty International has declared Chen Guangcheng a prisoner of conscience. The Chinese authorities should free him as he is yet another example of corrupt local officialdom abusing the human rights of fellow citizens.

It is long overdue for the Chinese Government to realise that for as long as local officials do not have to face competition for their posts through genuinely open and competitive election by their fellow citizens they will abuse their powers. The time for the Fifth Modernisation is long overdue.

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