Archive for February 22nd, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Ultimate Solution to the Problems of Democracy

While its website may be off, The Voice of Africa‘s shortwave station*) – known as The Voice of the Greater Arab Homeland until 1998, when Libya’s leader Muammar al-Gaddafi built stronger relations with African states -, remains firmly on the side of the Brotherly Leader. There are currently no news broadcasts, and the long lectures on the ultimate solution to the problems of democracy from the Green Book (secure your personal copy now, before it’s too late) may actually be archived material.

Judging from accent, at least some of the station’s presenters would appear to be from sub-Saharan Africa.


*) 17725 kHz, picked up in northern Germany


Where’s the Flavor, December 21, 2008


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Long Xiaole in Court: “Loopholes” and “Victory Signs”

Long Xiaole (龙小乐) , formerly Wuhan University’s deputy party secretary and deputy vice president, showed a victory sign in court on Thursday, reports Huanqiu Shibao. Long is accused of taking bribes from a certain chairman of a limited company’s board, and is said to have confessed to taking bribes of 100,000 and 310,000 Yuan RMB respectively. He had also confessed to cases of corruption the prosecutors hadn’t previously been aware of. Overall, Long is said to have received eleven bribes.

Long maintains that the confessions the prosecution is using in court had been extracted by torture (刑讯逼供). The investigators reacted to his fierce retractions with “great surprise and astonishment” (很意外,很震惊). “According to analysts”, writes Huanqiu Shibao, “Long can retract his confessions at no costs; by a successful overturn of the case he can legally escape punishment, and if it’s not successful, it means no loss.” His behaviour of “confessing first, retracting later” revealed the hope of avoiding legal sanctions by using legal loopholes.

Long’s allegations against the prosecution aren’t new, and nor is, probably, the investigators’ “surprise”.

Long’s prosecutors acknowledged dismissively that “the interrogation had been rather long.” But they countered that “there are no laws or regulations [in China] about the length of interrogations, and so there no illegalities were involved”,

China Media Project‘s (CMP) columnist Xiao Shu wrote in November last year.

Before Long accepted his first bribe at the end of 2000, he had had fierce  ideological struggles [with himself] (有过激烈的思想斗争), writes Huanqiu Shibao.

Long had been arrested in September 2009, following the arrest of former vice president Chen Zhaofang, who had been in charge of financing and logistics.

By 14:50 local time, there were three readers’ comments. “Nobody says he’s guilty when entering” (进去的没有一个是说”我是冤枉的”), says one. “I believe what he [Long] says”, writes another. And a third insists that “if he really took bribes, he should be tortured” (or beaten – 真是受贿就该被严刑拷打).

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