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China's Response To the Internet Addiction Death 250

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i'm-sure-everyone-will-get-a-fair-trial dept.
eldavojohn writes "Last week, news broke of a tragic incident that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old boy at one of China's internet addiction camps. Details were scarce except for reports that the camp remained open. New reports are now coming in from China Daily that report 13 arrested and the camp closed down on Friday with 122 participants being sent home. The vice-chief of the district has stated that the authorities are working on the case to identify and punish the criminals involved in the death. Xinhua is reporting that the camp was unlicensed. This is directly in conflict with what the Southern Metropolis Daily reporter is saying, 'When the reporter arrived outside the rear wall of the school, children on the third and fourth floors started to stick notes into aluminum cans, drink bottles, and slippers, and others folded notes into paper planes. They tried to throw them over the wall, but owing to the distance, none of them succeeded. Some children had papers bearing the messages "SOS" and "beating" which they waved out the windows. Some wrote calls for help on their clothing, which they displayed to the reporter. Some even yelled for help. They were all stopped by the instructors.' Here is that original story in Chinese. Is China handling this delicate issue appropriately or are the news reports of justice and monitoring treatments merely a facade?"
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China's Response To the Internet Addiction Death

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  • Re:Wait and see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) <> on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:01AM (#29010173)

    Or summary executions of all involved - flip a coin.

  • Of course not... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:03AM (#29010197)

    Is China handling this delicate issue appropriately or are the news reports of justice and monitoring treatments merely a facade?

    Of course it is not, you cannot say that a country that allows for few basic freedoms, has a mostly state-run economy, and has almost no non-state run news. Along with no real way for its people to voice their opinion in government matters. So lets see, we have no third-party news service, no public records, and no way for Chinese citizens to act against this. How can anyone say they are anything but a facade?

  • by (1563557) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:11AM (#29010279)

    Is China handling this delicate issue appropriately or are the news reports of justice and monitoring treatments merely a facade?

    Of course it is not, you cannot say that a country that allows for few basic freedoms, has a mostly state-run economy, and has almost no non-state run news. Along with no real way for its people to voice their opinion in government matters. So lets see, we have no third-party news service, no public records, and no way for Chinese citizens to act against this. How can anyone say they are anything but a facade?

    Ok I'll bite. They aren't a facade because they clearly have the manpower to overthrow their government, but have not done so. Either they keep their current form of government because it works better than anything they've had in their history, or because they are completely broken as a people and thus indifferent.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:15AM (#29010317)
    With a country with decent human rights you can at least protest without having to fear being shot, you can spread your word around in many outlets, and you have a media which has the ability to track the government. With government-run news you do not have an incentive to break news against the government unlike private news. While the deaths might have happened in a country with human rights, you can be sure that they would not be able to cover them up as much as in China.
  • various practices of western governments. i won't aggrevate your prejudices too much by suggesting some of your fears of an unstoppable march to orwellian fascism in the west are somewhat hysterical or overhyped

    but did any of you stop and think that what is going on in iran or china is perhaps exactly what your orwellian fears allude to? and that it might pay more dividends, at least in the realm of intellectual honesty, to criticize those governments rather than western governments?

    because no matter how bad it is in the west, surely you can see how downright horrific it is in some other places in the world. not that the west doesn't have problems. not that horrible problems elsewhere doesn't mean you should ignore little problems close by. and of course, it is invalid to be only able to criticize practices in other countries, not your own

    its just that, to me, there seems to be a lot of people in the west who fall into a ridiculous trap: some people's ability to criticize ends at the borders of their own countries. you are a human being, right? or does the rationale for your ability to judge right and wrong magically vaporize at the straits of bosporus or the rio grande?

    while you make mountains out of molehills in the practices of governments in the west, all i am asking is that you sometimes actually pay attention to the real mountains outside your border. they represent a threat to you just as much, if not more. its not THAT big of a planet you know, and its not the days of slowly sailing ships. what happens in beijing and tehran does have a real and measurable impact on your life, and it isn't a good impact. some days, you should stop beating the drums of the evils of the west, and turn your moral and intellectual concerns outside your borders

    the only valid moral and intellectual point of view is a global one, not a western one, nor an indian one, nor a chinese one. its just that, if you only concern yourself with criticism of the west, you fail this qualificiation for being able to consider yourself as having a truly human conscience

    stand up, criticize beijing and tehran. it doesn't mean you are suddenly a dick cheney style neocon. the rationale and ability to criticize nonwestern governments does not start with the assumption that you are enamored of western governments. you can hate washington dc just as much as you hate beijing. criticizing the former does not mean you love the latter, and visa versa

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) * on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:22AM (#29010385) Journal

    Small nitpick but they aren't 'murderers' when they were found innocent by a jury of their peers.

    That just means they are murderers with good lawyers.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:23AM (#29010397) Homepage

    Not to defend China, which certainly does have a very bad track record, but your logic doesn't make sense. The fact that the Chinese government does not grant what we consider normal and appropriate rights to its people has little to do with how they handle this matter, which appears to relate to a non-government unlicensed facility. Just because a person or entity does things which we disagree with doesn't mean that they will always without fail make every choice with an eye toward "what's the opposite of what Darkness404 would do?"

    It's certainly possible that they will handle this badly and cover it up, they've done so before. On the other hand, to assume that you simply know what's happening, because you disagree with other policies of the Chinese government is a complete non sequitur.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:29AM (#29010469)
    Or you know, the fact that they are constantly being bombarded with pro-government propaganda, has internet censorship, the fact that protests are violently stopped, and the fact that even very basic rights like the right to religion isn't even there, even for religions that are very non-violent. Mix that in with the fact that a violent revolution is nearly impossible, no media to report on your death, and you have a situation that is nearly impossible to rebel against. Take the American revolution, you had guys with muskets fighting other guys with muskets, in China if you are lucky you are a guy with a 9 MM fighting other guys with tanks, sniper rifles, bombers, and missiles.
  • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:32AM (#29010507)

    Since in America you are innocent until proven guilty, and they were not proven guilty...

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:36AM (#29010547) Journal

    That just means they are murderers with good lawyers.

    It's amusing that you've made up your mind based on media reporting and are second guessing the jury. Did you sit in the court room? Did you see the evidence that was presented? Are you looking at it logically or are your beliefs driven by emotion?

    It's supposed to be hard to get criminal convictions in this country. Get washed through the legal system for a felony or two and you might come to appreciate why our system functions the way it does.

  • by FinchWorld (845331) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:39AM (#29010605) Homepage

    Some may call that inspiring, but its ultimately pointless. As a westerner under the rule of the evil western governments (though apparenty not upto the Evilness of those of asia), what do you want me to do? We can't stop our own less-evil governments from cranking out laws stripping us of our freedoms, let alone get the majority of the population to even vote to stop it. What can I, as a man who has so very little influence over his own country, do to right the wrongs of a country the purposely limits the flow of information to stop whatever little influence I may have.

    You may want me to act on this, but you don't say how. We have lots of meaningless banner waving, that does nothing.

    p.s On a very vaguely related note, I urge UK readers to atleast glance at [], its not much, but its some sort of start.

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:40AM (#29010619)

    Excuse me! But in this country, there is a presumption of innocence. So you are innocent *UNLESS* proven guilty. Of course, that doesn't mean murder was not committed, but we really need to be careful with language.

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Verdatum (1257828) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:45AM (#29010677)
    No we don't. This is just a silly slashdot discussion board. We can be careful with language or not, it doesn't really effect anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:48AM (#29010713)

    Yes sir, let's just hang up the towel and scrap our desire for moral and just government because there's a government worse than ours. How insightful. How forward thinking.

    Yes, the Chinese government is worse than the American government. No, that doesn't change the fact that the American government has failed on many levels, both economically and with regards to human rights.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:54AM (#29010781) Homepage

    You aren't wrong, but you aren't right either. Certainly there are places where it is worse to live than in any Western country, and certainly as citizens of the world and human beings we should be concerned about the people in those places. However, we can only hope to influence our own governments. Since we don't want our own countries to fall down the same rabbit holes that we've seen other countries go down, we monitor and criticize our own governments to try to prevent such a slide. The fact that China may be worse doesn't excuse our government from moving in the same direction as the the Chinese government. To grossly simplify things: if there a continuum of behavior for a national government with "0" being really awful and "100" being really great, just because China is a "20" and your government is a "65" doesn't mean you shouldn't protest when your government moves to "64" or try to influence it to hit "66".

    The fact is that we can't do a lot about what Beijing and Tehran do. If we boycott their products are we hurting the government or the people? Same question with economic sanctions. Attempts to impose Western style freedom and democracy from the outside almost universally end badly, and often leave people worse off than they were under the old "bad" regime. I think most of us can agree that we wouldn't want to live in China or Iran, but there is no apparent easy solution to the problem of how to make them better places to live.

    Add to this the fact that many (certainly not all, maybe not even most, but many) people in these countries like things as they are, and you have an even bigger mess. Assuming you somehow force a change, how in your newly free and democratic country do you prevent a relapse the first time things get bad? We see this in Western countries all the time... When things are stressful, the country tightens up. Things become less free (still much better than China of course, but we clearly contract in the direction of "safety" when things are tough). In country with little democratic tradition and with conservative pointing back to the "good old days" under the Communists or the Supreme Leader what's to prevent backslides?

    Few if any progressive like what happens in China or Iran, but at the same time we know that there's a lot less that we can do about it than we can do about what happens in our own countries.

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:56AM (#29010809)

    It's a valid point that there are similar abuses here. However, the key difference is one of scale: here you're also bombarded with anti-US messages and almost every single protests goes smoothly and doesn't provoke a reaction from the state. This makes for a vastly different experience.

  • by i4ybrid (1615617) on Monday August 10, 2009 @10:56AM (#29010823)
    Were you referring to China, USA or Great Britain? I can't really tell the difference anymore.
  • Re:Wait and see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phulegart (997083) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:00AM (#29010863)

    what court found that grass did not reflect green light? Here, you are using an example that would never exist, to prove your point. Since that example WOULD and could never exist, you not only did not make your point, you only succeeded in proving that you are really bad at using analogy.

    Now. Have guilty people been found innocent in the past? Sure. Does that mean every person found innocent is guilty? Nope. Does that mean that most people found innocent are guilty? Nope. All it means is that some guilty people have been found innocent in the past. It does not reflect or prove out any future percentages. Some people who are innocent have been found guilty in the past. Does this mean every guilty conviction is incorrect? Because some innocent people have been found guilty, exactly what percentage of guilty convictions are incorrect? Exactly what percentage of acquittals are incorrect, based on the number of incorrect acquittals that have been passed out?

    The fact that you are attempting to "educate" people in how they should never confuse law with reason is one of the reasons why our legal system faces the troubles it does. If the law finds someone that YOU believe is guilty, to be innocent, then your choices are clear. Accept the decision of the courts and stop persecuting that party found innocent, or find the necessary proof to PROVE they are guilty. Standing there with your hands on your hips shouting.. "But he is GUILTY! I have no proof, but I just KNOW it!" does nothing at all.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:06AM (#29010941) Homepage

    Maybe, maybe not. There have been death at American "Youth Boot Camps" too, and we have all of the freedoms you mention. Accepting for the moment that you are right, however, and that this death could have been prevented in a "free society", it's not the argument you were making in your original post. There you implied that you already knew the Chinese Government was going to just cover this up and let the camp continue operations as normal, because the Chinese Government has done other thing which you disagree with. Your argument these was essentially "China has done evil things, therefore China is inherently evil, and will always make an evil choice over a good in every situation."

    It just doesn't work that way.

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:07AM (#29010961)

    You don't get ruled innocent though, merely not guilty.

  • by Jeeeb (1141117) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:08AM (#29010967)
    So an unlicensed privately run boot camp to treat internet addiction beats a child to death. The police launch an investigation remaining silent on the mater while it is underway. After appropriate investigations they take action and shut down the camp and arrest those responsible. All this is reported to the public through the media.

    Sounds to me like that is exactly how this would play out in any western democracy as well. Maybe, just maybe, the Chinese as well think it's terrible that a child is beaten to death and wish to punish those responsible. But no it couldn't be a genuine pursuit of justice, must just be a facade to protect the powers that be...
  • if you have a mile length of road, on one end is pure fascism, and on the other is pure democracy

    you have two guys on the road. one guy is a lot closer to fascism, and another a lot closer to democracy

    the guy closer to democracy wiggles around a bit, and moves a few inches towards fascism. OMFG! IT'S A SLIPPERY UNSTOPPABLE SLOPE TO ORWELL

    but, since its still mostly democracy, the next moment he wiggles a few inches back towards democracy. silence on your part

    meanwhile, the other guy down there, right close fascism: he steps a couple of feet deeper towards fascism, cheerfully turns to you, and in classic propaganda, tells you of his great strides towards democracy

    and you believe him

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:12AM (#29011021)

    And here we're supposed to be all versed in binary logic here at /. That's like saying that an equation doesn't evaluate to true, just to not false. Here's a hint, just as !false == true, so does !guilty == innocent. Particularly in a legal system that is built completely on the notion that you are innocent until proven guilty. Until that guilt is proven you are and have always been innocent.

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:13AM (#29011027)

    Um, guards being a kid and having him die may not be murder, but it certainly sounds like manslaughter. That beatings were routine doesn't make it ok, it makes it a human rights violation. yes, its supposed to be hard to convict... but to say the guards and nurse did nothing wrong is simply not true either.

  • Show trials... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:40AM (#29011359)

    I find that the international media gives a misleading view of what goes on in China. In such cases, for example, they make it seem like China is actively trying to fight corruption and other major issues. In my experience, the reality is nothing like that. The average person, and particularly poor people are constantly getting screwed, both by companies and the government and no one lifts a finger to do anything about it. Action is only taken when something happens to someone wealthy, as was the case here. Most people in China would probably be lucky to earn $1000 a month, let alone pay that much for an internet addiction camp. The only other time the government takes action seems to be when people raise enough furor about an issue.

    And the Chinese government likes making a big event of trials and often ends them with harsh punishments. They're almost show trials, except that the charges aren't necessarily trumped up. I wont be surprised if some of those arrested in this case end up being executed.

  • by FinchWorld (845331) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:46AM (#29011461) Homepage

    Yes, Life Is Hard. Accept it, work with it, deal with it. Your posts are getting worse and worse, tending more to victim syndrome. Did you even read all my post or just look for something to take out of context and snipe at?

    I'll ask you a third time now DO NOT IGNORE THIS.

    YOU, yes, YOU. YOU ask for action, yet YOU suggest NONE. You have ideals and dreams, you have a vision of a better world. Good. But you have no action, no plan, no suggestion as to how this may be done. You look away to foriegn powers to solve your problems, even though you don't suggest to them how they might do so. I'm doing what I can to change my nation, Im doing something, if not a big thing, to break the UKs Tory and Red Tie Tory (Or labour as they still dare to call themselves) hold over the UK.

    So. What do YOU suggest be done, that will change your nation. Action, plans. No more pointless banner waving.

  • Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:53AM (#29011579)
    Tienanmen Square taught us an important thing about ourseïlves. We can't nor are willing to do anything about any of this. Until China commits a sizable atrocity involving millions of people at once, the world is content to read about it with guarded "shock and horror."
  • by Estanislao Martínez (203477) on Monday August 10, 2009 @12:00PM (#29011683) Homepage

    Since in America you are innocent until proven guilty, and they were not proven guilty...

    You're reasoning on the basis of short slogans, and not actually the rules that these slogans imperfectly summarize.

    In the USA, the criminal court system operates on a presumption of the innocence of the defendant. This means that the prosecution has the burden of proving that the charges are true; defendants don't have the burden of proving themselves innocent, and have the right to not testify during the process.

    A person truly does commit a murder, but is acquitted of the charge for it, is quite simply an acquitted murderer. If you call somebody an "acquitted murderer" there's of course the issue of why do you believe you are justified in believing that person to be a murderer when the court ruled in his favor, but we're all certainly entitled to our own opinions.

  • Let's recap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Monday August 10, 2009 @12:13PM (#29011899) Journal

    Let's recap: in that case the guards

    - were videotaped punching and kicking a 14 year old, who died soon afterwards

    - they did not deny it. In fact, they said it was normal boot-camp procedure. You don't get a much clearer admission than that.

    I'm sorry, but I don't need media hype to think that those assholes should be in jail. If not for murder, then for the assault that they're not even denying. It's hard for me to imagine them as innocent of at least that savage beating, when even they admit it. In fact, that it was common procedure and they did it to lots of other children.

    We're not even talking about a belting or spanking (much as I'm against those too, but, ok, let's skip that part for now.) We're talking a group of adults punching and kicking a 14 year old child.

    To add insult to injury: it wasn't even because said child had actually done anything bad. They were beating him because they thought he was simulating an illness. Except it turns out that the illness was real, and in fact they argued in court (and that was why they were acquitted) that the kid died of the disease not of the punching and kicking received. Again, it's stuff they themselves argued in court, so I'm not doing more than taking their own word for it.

    Roll that around in your head a bit: a child received that savage beating (whether lethal or not), just because he was genuinely ill. No other guilt, infraction, misdeed, or anything else involved. Get sick, get beaten. Does that sound right to you?

    I mean, FFS, even the advocates of corporal punishments argue that it's to correct some antisocial behaviours. Whereas in this case a child was savagely beaten just for being ill. Instead of being taken to a doctor, he was punched and kicked by a bunch of adults. I can't imagine any scenario, no matter how convoluted, where that can possibly be morally right.

    But at any rate, murder or not, by their own confessions they are at the very least guilty of assault. And for that, they earn my heartfelt contempt. Bunch of scumbags.

  • by microbox (704317) on Monday August 10, 2009 @12:28PM (#29012133)
    I agree 100%, but perhaps these facts will add a poignant twist:

    Milgram did his experiment because he wanted to understand why the holocaust happened. How did the German guards turn so brutal? There was a myth that it had to be something to do with the German character. Milgram dispelled that myth.

    Ignorance of these facts will lead to more beatings in the future, and more deaths. China, Florida, Germany, it doesn't matter where.

    In chasing the antecedents of blame, one must look at the organisers of the boot camp. Perhaps they should have known better.

  • by nightwng2000 (1615699) on Monday August 10, 2009 @01:27PM (#29013151) Homepage
    Decades ago, they were "deprogrammers", verbally, mentally, physically, even sexually abusing kids and adults because their victims had belief (by choice or force) that were different their own, so they forced their victims, through abuse, to follow THEIR beliefs, rather than teach them to have a choice. Making them "reprogrammers", not "deprogrammers".

    Years later, it was so-called mental health professionals who believed that various forms of abuse against adults and children could "cure" their victims of homosexuality. Even creating "camps" to "change" them.

    Then, there are the troubled youth, the fat, the depressed, and more. All finding their way into "camps" to "cure" them through verbal, mental, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

    But you know what? The common element in all this is? Not that there are people who need help or need to be "cured". But that there are sick sociopaths and psychopaths out there who found a way to get off on their sick desires of a variety of abuses against children and adults alike.

    They find a scapegoat, something to blame, so that they can create a reason to "cure" something.

    In the case of those who had been taken advantage of by groups who used brainwashing techniques to force their victims to follow a particular belief, the "deprogrammers" co-opted the same tactic to do the same thing, only they programmed their victims to believe in an "acceptable" religion.

    In the case of the victims who were homosexual, they had been the victims of various forms of abuse because society had taught that that is how you treated homosexuals. As many are taught that being the victim of abuse for ANY reason and the resulting emotional horrors from it is actually the victim's fault. So the so-called mental health professionals blamed, not society's obscene teaching that abuse is good, homosexuality as being "bad" and "harmful". So, to get their sick, perverted rocks off, they had a justification for abusing homosexuals.

    Scapegoat after scapegoat has been created. All to feed a sick need to have their desires to abuse others justified.

    But each and every time, it backfires and shows itself for what it really is. A sick, obscene, perverted desire to abuse others, whether it be verbally, mentally, physically, and/or sexually and whether the victim be adult or child.

    And there's no end in sight. "Spare the rod, spoil the child." We've seen just how far THAT is taken. Even the so-called Seat Of Morality, the Vatican, attempts to cover that up. Look to the recent events in Ireland for proof.

    It isn't the victims who are the most in need of "curing".

    It's the people who claim to have the cure.

  • Re:Wait and see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday August 10, 2009 @03:15PM (#29014831)

    It's funny how people are very quick to lecture on how the US doesn't necessarily work the way the US Constitution says it should but assume the People's Republic of China works the way the Constitution says it does.

    Actually if you read the wiki article's_court_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China []

    During the 1940s and 1950s, People's Courts were village meetings in which peasants would complain about their landlords. This was known as 'Speak Bitterness' and was set up by the Communists for the denunciation of landlords.

    Hmm, more Googling finds this []

    The "Speak Bitterness" Meetings, as they were called, came after The Agrarian Reform Law (June 30, 1950). This law being introduced not too long after Chairman Mao Zedong gained control in 1949, gained control of all of China's land for the new government, and allowed them to use and distribute the land as needed. With this new distribution of land, the wealthy or 'rich' population in China (specifically farm owning/ landlords,) had parts of their land taken from them and given to "poor" peasants. This certainly caused the peasants to benefit from this law, and those who already already owned the land to grief from it, however this concern for land-owners was soon distracted by the "Speak Bitterness" trials. Because the vast majority of China was lower class, they more than likely had been under the employment or have suffered from a Land-owning person, and so the Communist party members encouraged the peasants to go to these meetings and 'speak bitterness' about their grief and those who may have caused that grief.

    In addition, the vast majority of peasants in China had little to no education, they had no reason to think that this would cause draw backs or repercussions to the economy and themselves. These meetings along with the newly given land distracted peasants from the fact that they had no equipment, wealth or money to cultivate the land given to them, and focused their anger and contempt towards their previous land owners, or even those who they simply did not like. China became something similar to the Salem Witch trials or old Soviet Russia in the peasant areas under Stalin, in which people were turning on each other simply because they could. Communist party members actually encouraged it, so the peasants pointed the finger of blame on who ever they wanted with the intention that they would benefit from it, and simply hope that they were not pointed at or seen as having unjustly pointed their finger. Any one could be a target, even some one who was previously in the CCP. That having been said, some peasants began to accuse people who used to or were in the CCP, this could be because they did not like the person or just because they were associated with the CCP, as well as the fact that they could not do so before.
    The CCP managed to distract the population by turning the lower class against the upper class and caused the upper class to be too worried about their fate to blame the CCP. This benefits the CCP themselves for having control over the population, and in turn benefit anyone else who could gain from CCP control.

    So the People's Court was not really about the presumption of innocence.

    More to the point the Constitution in China grants rights like freedom of speech, freedom of association and son which Chinese people demonstrably don't enjoy - consider Tiananmen. In fact lawyers in China have been arrested merely for trying to enforce these rights []

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