Don't Turn a Village Into a Pressure Cooker

A Global Times editorial on the house arrest of Chen Guangcheng and his family concedes that the local government which is imprisoning him should be more forthcoming. But foreign observers, it argues, have backed the authorities into a corner:

Blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is attracting more attention from a small group of observers. A few opinion leaders at home and abroad are pushing for more people to visit him. On the Internet, various possible scenarios concerning such visits have been circulated.

Like similar spurts of action surrounding sensitive issues, speculation arises when clarification from relevant authorities is missing. As concerns accumulate, the local government of Linyi should release more information concerning Chen’s situation. Blocking information and hoping the inquiries go away will only lead to worse consequences ….

A swarm of Western media outlets and human rights organizations are putting huge pressure on the local government which lacks experience in dealing with such matters. Their overreaction should not be seen as a careful plan. Now the incident is attracting more attention and becomes more difficult to resolve.

What is important now perhaps is to depoliticize the issue. Liberated from the scorching scrutiny of media and human rights organizations, local governments might be given more room to settle matters.

At ‘Dark Glasses. Portrait‘, meanwhile, people are posting pictures of themselves wearing dark glasses or blindfolds as a gesture of support for the family’s release.

See also A New Tourism Promo for Dongshigu Village, Home of Chen Guangcheng & Family? and Calls to Free Blind Activist Met With Violence; Videos by Supporters Posted Online for more news on Chen’s case.