Big story you missed

A Chinese woman's ridiculous sentence prompts online outrage and calls to reform the 1950s-era forced-labor system

By Sarah Amandolare
Published August 16, 2012 10:19PM (EDT)
         (<a href=''>JFunk</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>/Salon)
(JFunk via Shutterstock/Salon)

While Paul Ryan continued taking heat for his plans to reshape Medicare, a mother in China sparked impassioned pleas for reform of her country's forced-labor camp system. Chinese officials handed Tang Hui, 39, an 18-month labor sentence “for protesting that the men who raped and prostituted her young daughter had been treated too leniently,” the Guardian reported. Hui’s case refueled public desire for an overhaul of China’s 1950s-era “re-education through labor” program.

Tang was released from custody on Aug. 10, as the Wall Street Journal reported, not long after “an outpouring of support of her on Chinese microblogging sites.” But she still hasn’t returned home. In the meantime, China Daily reported, a group of 10 prominent lawyers have written a public letter to China's Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Justice urging changes to a system that allows even modest offenders to be held in labor camps for years without a trial.

China Daily’s coverage of the news was “remarkable,” reported Lilian Lin of the Wall Street Journal. Essentially the government’s “central English-language mouthpiece newspaper,” China Daily typically avoids criticizing policies “without high-level approval.”




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