Quoting from China Daily - March 17th, 2008:
Chinese citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech by the nation's Constitution, Zhang Jun, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, said on Saturday.
Marvellous, isn't it?
"Citizens have the rights to express their ideas under the legal system, which includes suggestions to and criticisms of the government. These rights are protected by law and by the Constitution," Zhang said.
It is acceptable for people to criticize preparations for the Olympic Games or express their complaints, he added.
Zhang made the remarks in response to questions raised by foreign media at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing legislative session.
Well, the next sentence starts with a 'But'.
Back? Did you also see the portraits of nine leaders? Fine. Just keep these in your mind. Especially the one of the leader of the leaders, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee, Mr. Hu Jintao.
End of the beforegoing.
Mr. Hu has been sentenced to 3,5 years in jail!
Ah, no. Not the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee.
Mr. Hu Jia.
Why would Mr. Hu Jia be sentenced, although he is not the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee?
Well, as one could - for certain reasons - not rely on Western newspapers, I do again tend to rather trust on the phare of journalism, the China Daily.
Back? Let's recapitulate then:
'Hu spread malicious rumors, and committed libel in an attempt to subvert the state's political power and socialist system.'
How did Hu, 'libel the Chinese political and social systems, and instigate subversion of the state, which is a crime under Chinese law'?
By 'two website articles' ... 'published [...] on overseas-run websites'.
In other words: 'An unemployed father aged 34 and the holder of a college degree' by 'spreading malicious rumor' tried to find oversea-allies to knuckle down his fellow countrymen - roughly one billion Chinese.
And here comes the moment to remember the portraits of nine leaders. Especially the one of the leader of the leaders, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Comitee, Mr. Hu Jintao.
Obviously these gentlemen do not only suffer from mental inferiority, but also are heroic cowards who fear 'an unemployed father aged 34 and the holder of a college degree'.
* How could this happen? I had just started to write a review of 'The Bastard of Istanbul' by Elif Safak. While writing the title suddenly the Olympic Games in Berlin ... err Beijing came to my mind, and thus the little faux pax seems to have happened.
Of course, I do distance myself from the title. Never would I call mighty criminal and corrupt cowards who suffer from mental inferiority bastards.
Ah yes, as the phares of China's daily journalism did not mention (surely due to a lack of space), I do allow myself to add:
Mr Hu Jia has a wife, Zeng Jinyan (24), and a two months old daughter.
But that's completely a different post.