A recent comment for The Tiananmen Square Hoax was worth turning into a post. The comment was left by an anonymous person going by the name of Fred.
He or she mentioned the arrest of Shi Tao, a mainland Chinese journalist, and Fred claimed that Tao was tortured by Chinese police before being given a ten-year jail sentence for sending an e-mail.
My response was: “How many witnesses are there to this torture? Any photos? When the US was water boarding prisoners at GITMO (water boarding is considered torture by some but not by others), the G. W. Bush administration (2001 – 2009) did not consider it torture but the Obama administration did (2009 – ).
As for the jail sentence, the laws of each country are different. We cannot judge China using the US legal system or someone’s opinion that it was unjust. For example: Do you approve of a country having a death penalty for a drug related crime?
Some of the countries that allow the death penalty for drug crimes: Bahrain, China, Cuba, Egypt, Gaza (occupied Palestinian Territories), India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam and the United States of America.
Article 28 of China’s Constitution says, “The state maintains public order and suppresses treasonable and other counter-revolutionary activities; it penalizes actions that endanger public security and disrupt the socialist economy and other criminal activities, and punishes and reforms criminals.”
“When the Chinese government found out (about the leak—Fred calls it sending an e-mail, but what was in that e-mail turns out to be sensitive CCP information.), the CCP demanded the sender’s personal information from Yahoo!’s Hong Kong office. Yahoo! turned the information over without asking what it was for (the United States does the same thing for treason and any suspicion of a potential act of Terrorism).
“Shortly thereafter, Shi Tao was detained on November 24, 2004. The Chinese authorities confiscated his computer and documents without showing any proper permit or document, and warned his family members not to talk about it with others. He was formally arrested on December 14.”
Here’s the law for treason in the United States: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
In addition, in the US, “If the police have probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime but the prosecutor has not yet brought formal charges, the police may detain the suspect in custody for a short period of time (generally twenty-four to forty-eight hours). Probable cause is defined as facts sufficient to support a reasonable belief that criminal activity is probably taking place or knowledge of circumstances indicating a fair probability that evidence of crime will be found. It requires more than a mere hunch, but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. After this short period of detention, the police must release the person, or bring formal charges and take the suspect before a judge. If released, the person may be rearrested at a later date if the police obtain sufficient evidence.”
Is there any language in China’s laws that says how long the police in China may hold an alleged criminal without charging them? Does anyone know?
Shi Tao was sentenced to ten years in prison for releasing a document of the CCP to an overseas Chinese democracy site. This was the alleged accusation that led to his conviction and prison sentence.
How is that different from the US wanting to arrest Julian Assange for doing the same thing to America? I’ve read that the US is working to extradite Assange for crimes against America so the US may throw the citizen of another country (Assange is an Australian) in a US prison.
Then there is this about the legal system in China from The Diplomat.com: “Since 2006, new political campaigns have proliferated in courts and government institutions. These reemphasize the supremacy of the Communist Party and warn against the infiltration of ‘Western’ rule-of-law concepts. Indeed, even the content of the national bar exam has been altered to reflect these changes.
“Personnel changes have also swept through the Chinese judiciary. In 2008, Party authorities replaced the outgoing head of the Supreme People’s Court (strongly identified with many of the 1990s-era legal reforms) with a Party political-legal cadre whose main prior career experience had been his time serving as a provincial public security chief.
“The work of the courts has changed as well. Since 2003, Chinese authorities have moved away from court trials according to law, which were heavily emphasized in the 1990’s as the preferred means for resolving disputes. In their place they have revived Maoist-style mediation practices. And they have revived and expanded programs that train ex-military officers to serve as judges in rural courts, a practice which had fallen out of favor during the 1990’s.”
I recommend reading the rest of this post at The Diplomat. It’s worth reading to understand how the Chinese legal system is changing and why the CCP is doing things the way it does. We don’t have to like what goes on in China, but there is nothing we can do to change it because China is governed by the CCP as the US is governed by the Democratic and Republican Parties.
Should we swap governments to see what happens to the legal system of each country?
Before you answer that last question, consider that the United States has the largest prison population (2.29 million) on the Earth and China (1.65 million) is in second place but with more than four times the population. In fact, when we factor in the ratio of prison population to total population, the US has 743 people locked up for every 100,000, while China has 122 per 100,000 of the national population. Russia has the second highest ratio at 598 per 100,000.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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