China’s sham show trials ‘like a theater of the absurd’


Human rights groups and observers say China’s latest wave of “sham trials” against legal advocates, arrested amid an orchestrated crackdown last July, is mostly a political charade, and to some extent, bears a resemblance to the notorious Moscow Purge trials in the late 1930’s. More importantly, the trials show that the civil society in China is far from empowered, Joyce Huang writes for VOA.

The trial of Chinese lawyers arrested on July 9th 2015 “was like a theater of the absurd,” said Initiatives for China, adding that the proceedings were reminiscent of Stalin’s Soviet purges and Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

“History always repeats itself,” rights lawyer Liang Xiaojun said. “This wave of trials reminds us of the Soviet Union’s Moscow trials, where all [defendants] confessed and claimed themselves to be the unpardonable wicked while singing praise to [the union’s leader Joseph] Stalin,” added Liang, who had represented Hu Shiquen in earlier cases.

A Tianjin court has handed Christian activist Gou Hongguo a three-year suspended sentence for “subversion of state power,” adds China Digital Times. Gou’s sentence is the fourth this week for detainees from last July’s “Black Friday” crackdown on rights lawyers and activists to receive a sentence for subversion this week.

China’s propaganda-video makers have a singular message: The West is the root of all of China’s troubles, Zheping Huang writes for Quartz:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been working full speed the past few months to produce videos blaming “foreign hostile forces,” especially the US, for everything from inciting separatism to stealing territory in the South China Sea. Last week, as the high-profile trials of four Chinese human rights lawyers got underway, the video makers were in overdrive as they churned out at least six propaganda videos to counter criticism of its crackdown on civil society.

The videos usually surface on the social media platform Weibo and go viral after being promoted by state organs like the Communist Youth League. And they appear to be working.

“Color Revolution” [above],an English- and Chinese-language theme song for the propaganda campaign, was posted Aug. 4 on Weibo. The song was created by CD REV, a hip-hop group backed by the Communist Youth League from the southwestern city of Chengdu. Rap videos became a popular part of the Chinese propaganda video repertoire around the beginning of this year, when CD REV dropped “The Force of Red,” a song warning that “all you faggots from the western [sic] better shut your mouth” and that Hong Kong and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China.

“America always says people need democracy to enjoy their rights, but wait a sec,” the rapper says. “Does he use this so-called ‘D’ to try to control the world and make his own money?”

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