Tuesday, September 2, 2008

China goes after elderly parents of adult protesters (even over issues unrelated to Olympics)

In China, it appears that the government is not afraid to go after non-voluntary relatives (that means parents, not just one’s own children) of political protestors, even to support its “corporatism.” Hai Mingyu took his three-year-old son to a political protest against the taking of his family’s house without compensation. Apparently he did not have permission to protest, as all such requests for permits were denied (they always are). He talked to a woman whom he thought was a journalist, and it turned out she was an undercover cop.

Apparently the incident dates back to 1990, when China was morphing out of Communism gradually, and the government took some property in Huimin county, Shandong province. Supposedly later the government offered to “negotiate.”

But the police did not continue to pursue Hai (or his son); instead they harassed his 73-year-old mother, who has kidney disease, escorting her on a bus. She lives in a suburb of Beijing.

The story is by Maureen Fan of the Washington Post, Sept. 2, p A11, “Protester’s Mother Pays Price: Police Focus on 73-Year-Old After Son’s Actions During Games, link here. Perhaps this is an extension of Chinese “Confucian” family values?

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