A list aids China’s political prisoners – Robert Marquand

From the Christian Science Monitor, via ABC News:

In prisons across China, inmates languish for committing “political crime” – anything from starting an illegal newspaper, trade union, or unofficial religious church, or speaking a slogan in public.

China is not a liberal state with tolerant laws, as its leaders agree. President Bush, showing solidarity with Christians who are sometimes arrested here, Sunday visited an official Protestant church in Beijing on the last leg of an Asia trip that has stressed what Mr. Bush called the “universal” value of freedom of expression.

In China, such expression can be prosecuted with zeal; sentences are stiff. Take Zhang Wei, in a Chongqing jail for six years for running unapproved news in his paper. Or Huang Aiping, in a Fujian jail seven years for being an elder in an illegal Protestant church that allowed “holy singing and dancing.” Or two Uighur teens, serving 15 years in a Kashi jail for swapping China’s flag for an east Turkistan one at 2 a.m.

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