The Toronto Star tells the story of Liu Jie, who organized a petition against “re-education through labor” camps, and as a result ended up in a camp herself:
Given the ongoing debate about the camps, the timing of Liu Jie’s petition seemed perfect.
It was late summer when she and other public-spirited citizens launched the signature drive. They planned to send the petition to President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and delegates attending the 17th Communist Party Congress in Beijing that began Oct. 15.
The congress is the pinnacle of decision-making power in Chinese political life and occurs just once every five years. What better time for citizens to bring their concerns forward?
…On Oct. 8, a week before the congress, organizers mailed that “voice from the heart” with 12,000 signatures directly to the government.
Four days later, Liu Jie was arrested. [Full text]