Archive for December 2nd, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently Reading …

“China-Albtraum der Deutschen Welle”, Frankfurt 2012, by Li Qi (or Qi Li, if you put the family name second). Can’t tell yet if it’s a great book, but the first 100 pages (of more than 400) contain a chronology of the Zhang Danhong case which goes far beyond what I’ve seen anywhere else so far.

There’s bitterness in this book – that needs to be said. It’s not written by someone who can, or wants to, put himself above the story, because it’s his story. After the first 100 pages, it’s mostly his personal story.

But it seems to be the most exhaustive account of Deutsche Welle’s Chinese department yet. And given that this is about Deutsche Welle – Germany’s foreign broadcaster -, the way this story goes should be a matter of public interest. It would take a press which would be willing to look at these stories from all sides, and which would be influential enough to get answers from Deutsche Welle itself.

That’s missing so far. Once the Zhang Danhong affair was over (if it ever really was “over”), there wasn’t much media interest anymore. But I’m getting the impression that Qi Li’s book – despite the shortcomings mentioned above, or maybe even because of them – could become a great document of German-Chinese relations, in the long run.

Might write a review later on, before the end of this month. But before that, there’s still a lot to read, and to reflect upon.



» Advocacy Journalism not the Problem, Jan 26, 2012


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chen Kegui sentenced to three years, three month in jail

Chen Kegui (陈克贵), nephew of Chen Guangcheng, has been sentenced to three years and three months in jail, “for assaulting officials”, reports the Guardian.

After Chen Guangcheng’s succesful getaway from his home (and house arrest) in Dongshigu village, Shandong Province, in April this year, local officials and public security people burst into the home of Chen Guangcheng’s older brother Chen Guangfu (陳光福), whose son (Chen Guangcheng’s newphew) Chen Kegui held a kitchen knife in self defense, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) describes the case. Three people got injured.

Yinan County Court (沂南縣法院) found Chen Kegui guilty of what – according to RTI’s wording – would seem to amount to “intentional murder” or “intentional manslaughter” (故意杀人), and jailed him for three years and three months.

If that was the verdict, and if this article by Human Rights Watch (HRW) of October 15 this year was correct, hopes that the police accusation (“intentional manslaughter”) would turn into “intentional infliction of injury” at the state prosecutor’s office apparently didn’t materialize.

Chen Kegui’s jail sentence doesn’t quite reach that of Hu Jia, who – in an unrelated case – was sentenced to three years and six months in prison in 2008, after three months in detention while awaiting trial. In Hu’s case, the charges were about “subversion of state power”. What spelled factors for Hu not to get the maximum sentence of five years appears to be unknown.

Chen Kegui’s detention while awaiting trial (his whereabouts at the time appear to have been unknown) amounted to about seven months.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland criticized the proceedings for lacks of basic due process guarantees. Among other issues, Chen Kegui wasn’t

fully represented by legal counsel of his choosing. He didn’t have an opportunity to present his own defense. So this was a deeply flawed legal process.

Indeed, according to German daily Die Welt, (quoting news agencies), Chen Kegui’s defenders were appointed by the state.



» Kurzer Prozess, Die Welt, Nov 30, 2012
» Huanqiu: Just a Grassroot issue, May 3, 2012
» Support Network, BBC, May 19, 2012


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