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And in China…

December 13, 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

December 13, 2006
As Vice Dragnet Recalls Bad Old Days, Chinese Cry Out

SHANGHAI, Dec. 12 — For people who saw the event on television earlier this month, the scene was like a chilling blast from a past that is 30 years distant: social outcasts and supposed criminals — in this case 100 or so prostitutes and a few pimps — paraded in front of a jeering crowd, their names revealed, and then driven away to jail without trial.

The act of public shaming was intended as the first step in a twomonth campaign by the authorities in the southern city of Shenzhen to crack down on prostitution.

But the event has prompted an angry nationwide backlash, with many people making common cause with the prostitutes over the violation of their human rights and expressing outrage in one online forum after another.

So-called rectification campaigns, or struggle sessions, like these were everyday occurrences during the Cultural Revolution, which officially ended in 1976.

In that benighted era, popular justice was meted out and so-called class enemies were publicly beaten, forced to make confessions and sent to work camps for reeducation.

That this event took place in Shenzhen, the birthplace of China’s economic reforms and one of its richest and most open cities, seems to have added to its shock value.

“Even people who commit crimes deserve dignity,” one person wrote on the popular Internet forum 163.com. “Must we go back to the era of the Cultural Revolution?”

-via NYTimes

Oh wow. What are you doing, China?

But the backlash is encouraging to see. I’m glad that the populace is calling out against this kind of dehumanizing act.

Call me biased, but I loathe having the Cultural Revolution as part of my history.

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