Southern Metropolis News on the Sichuan Earthquake Names Project (Updated)

On April 15th, The Southern Metropolis News published an editorial. Artist and blogger Ai Weiwei reposted on his blog (roughly translated; original Chinese post follows): On April 13th, the State Department News Office published the “National Human Rights Action Plan (2009-2010)”, promising to ensure citizens’ rights and political rights, including personal rights, prisoners’ rights, the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion and belief, the right to participate and to voice an opinion. At the same time, it guarantees the media’s rights to collect information, criticize, discuss, and publish.  It also guarantees the rights of the citizens of Wenchuan in the Sichuan disaster area to create and publish a list of the victims of the earthquake, those that have been killed and those that have gone missing. Based on the standards of the country’s human rights plan, it doesn’t allow anyone to hide the names of those that are dead or missing.  It encourages local governments to share information, to avoid duplicating efforts.  The names must be thoroughly investigated; access to this list and the right to circulate it is part of everyone’s human rights. The list is not yet complete, but it is a part of everyone’s national heritage.  The government office stressed that detailed information should be gathered, including name, hometown, and place of death.  It is a very detailed procedure and must be completed and published in stages.  It is an enormous project, and will include lessons learned from this disaster, especially on the first anniversary of the earthquake.  Regarding the names of the students that were killed, these should be published as quickly as possible, because this is a way of reconstructing both the disaster area as well as help our society heal. Volunteers have been compiling these names using the internet and published news ...
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