Thursday, August 14, 2008
No petitioning during the Olympics
Al Jazeera has an interesting report on people attempting to petition the Chinese central government to intervene in disputes involving local government. Traditionally, people could petition the emperor for assistance in cases where the local officials had failed to take proper action or acted unjustly. Apparently the local governments have quotas for how many petitioners may come from their province during important events. The provincial officials are responsible for discouraging petitioners from exercising their legal right. Since the Olympics are so important to China, the government recently tore down the motels where these petitioners usually stayed and has started arresting petitioners in order to improve their image during the Olympics.