The Levitator blog has posted a photo series about a “petitioners’ village” in Beijing, taken from a documentary which has been posted online. The full documentary is available to download here. From The Levitator (found via Peking Duck):
China has a unique system for handling official malfeasance – the “letters and visits” or petition system. Running parallel to the judiciary, the system operates layers of offices spread out across the country, just like the courts. But this system belongs to the executive, not the judiciary.
Theoretically, if you have suffered injustice in the hands of your local authorities and get no redress from the courts, you can write letters to these offices or visit them in person and ask for help.
This is called “visiting the higher-ups”.
But local authorities have their way of making sure your case gets thrown out or shelved–just like it got thrown out of the local court. Your case can also get stuck due to red tape, understaffing, or incompetence. [Click to see]
See previous CDT posts about petitioners.