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·让我们不再恐惧
·孙志刚事件:被讨论的和被回避的
·蔡卓华案庭审纪实
·司法改革动力、困局与期待
·日常行动背后的法律社会学基础
·真相是如何可能的?
·听 来 的 故 事
·禁讨立法需要多少个理由?
·敢 问 路 在 何 方—评福建、河北等地农民罢免人大代表案
·杀人,以整顿市容的名义
·绕不过去的违宪审查
·清明节,我去了天安门广场
·立场主义与道德主义(网络版)
·饥饿的中国—写在冯彦伟绝食抗议榆林市政府野蛮暴行的第48小时
·大学生社团的使命
·激 活 宪 法
·孙志刚事件:知识、媒介与权力
·司法的归司法,舆论的归舆论?—从张金柱案到黄静案
·谁能阻止一个人心底的眼泪—日记16则,纪念父亲
·生活是维权运动的源头活水
·虚构的故事
·体制的边界
临沂计划生育调查手记
·蒙河边的抗争—临沂计划生育调查手记之一
·“我家亲戚被抓了22口”—临沂计划生育调查手记之二
·她的眼里没有泪水—临沂计划生育调查手记之三
·到办公室上课去!—临沂计划生育调查手记之四
·不扎也得扎!—临沂计划生育调查手记之五
·学习班—临沂计划生育调查手记之六
·向人性宣战—临沂计划生育调查手记之七
·“盯关跟主义”—临沂计划生育调查手记之八
·人性不曾屈服—临沂计划生育调查手记之九
·野蛮是如何炼成的?—临沂计划生育调查手记之十
·后记:
·有谁战胜过真相
·法治中国需要中国法律人的良知及责任—致世界法律大会中国代表的公开信
·从上书到公开信
·是谁在“严重威胁社会秩序”?—关于游行示威权利的行政复议申请书
·致陈光诚的一封信
·用微笑来面对那些制造恐惧的人——和高智晟在一起的一个下午
·2+2=4的自由
·推倒「新闻柏林围墙」——透视中国新闻自由的前景
·恢复收容遣送制度等于开历史倒车
·陈光诚案凸显中国法治的困局
·暗夜里的光明之舞
·中国维权运动往何处去?
·陈光诚是如何被定罪的?(补充版)
·Crusader in a legal wilderness
·China’s blind Justice
·China's Political Courts
·以公民的姿态挺身而出/闵家桥
·“最可贵的是她有健康的公民意识”——关于公民王淑荣的对话
·“阳光宪政”的护卫者/民主与法制杂志
·要让好人走到一起,才能合力纠错——奥美定事件亲历者访谈录/南方周末
·李卫平: 被迫走出书斋的维权者——著名维权律师滕彪访谈录
·太阳城:写在第三期“名家说法”被命令取消之后
·滕彪印象/法制日报
·Rule of Law requires our consciousness and responsibility
·临沂野蛮计生与陈光诚事件维权大事记(2006-11-7)
·耻为盛世添顺骨
·中国时报专访:盼与政府互动 和平维权
·滕彪博士:精神家园的守望者/刘爽
·司法改良和公民维权——学而思沙龙的网谈
·学术、政治与生活——2006年12月17日做客沧海论坛在线交流记录
·黎明前的见证
·看看我们的朋友——致受难中的高智晟和他的妻子和孩子
·临沂警匪暴行录
·临沂野蛮计生事件及陈光诚案维权大事记(五——七)
·中国当代宪政主义者的困境和选择/林泽波
·通过汉语改变中国
·茶人滕彪/萧瀚
·崔英杰案:“慎杀时代”的第一个考验
·死刑、司法与中国人权
·废除死刑的中国语境——在第三届世界反死刑大会上的发言
·司法独立,和谐中国——2007年“两会”之际的公民呼吁/许志永 滕彪
·彻底改革司法才能避免滥用死刑
·崔英杰案,在多重反思中寻找契机
·从“两会”看赎回选票运动
·关于尽快将青岛市四方区政府违法拆迁行为纳入法制轨道的法律意见书
·青岛野蛮拆迁:袁薪玉被控放火和妨害公务案一审的当庭辩护意见
·维权书简·戴脚镣的舞者
·被遗忘的谎言——就《成都晚报》事件致中宣部长和教育部长的一封信
·滕彪:可怕的“冤案递增律”
·不是我不明白
·张敏:滕彪律师访美谈中国司法现状与维权
·萧洵:纸包子案记者被判刑引发强烈质疑
·自由亚洲电台:拾荒者遇上联防离奇死亡 孙志刚式悲剧首都重现?
·何亚福 王鑫海 杨支柱等:放开二胎倡议书
·临沂野蛮计生事件及陈光诚案维权大事记(八--九)
·一个案件的真相与两个案件的正义(附:“聂树斌案”到了最危急时刻!)
·滕彪、胡佳:奥运前的中国真相
·郑筱萸案扇了死刑复核程序一记耳光/滕彪 李方平
·“杀害自己孩子的民族没有未来!”
·关于李和平律师被绑架殴打致国务院、最高人民检察院、公安部、国家安全部的公开信(签名中)
·NO FIGHTS,NO RIGHTS——接受博闻社采访谈中国人权现状
·挽包遵信先生
·香港电台铿锵集:扣着脚镣跳舞的中国律师
·那些陌生的人们在我们心底哭泣——推荐一个短片
·关于邮箱被盗用的声明
·《律师法》37条:为律师准备的新陷阱
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Dissonance Strikes A Chord


   By Sally Jenkins
   Saturday, August 9, 2008; E01
   BEIJING

   Speech is the most incendiary topic at these Olympics, in all its forms: a contraband Tibetan banner, face masks, the mutual verbal rebukes of President Bush and the Chinese government, the eloquent choice of Sudanese "Lost Boy" Lopez Lomong as the U.S. flag-bearer, and the drumming and blazes of the Opening Ceremonies. It's a topic on which it's easy to be uncertain -- how not to insult the host? What is the proper form of expression for an athlete? But to Chinese human rights activist Teng Biao, there is no confusion. Over the telephone, he agrees to meet for a talk, despite the fact that the conversation could land him in an interrogation room, or worse.
   Relieved to be out of earshot of Olympic platitudes, you set off across the capital to meet him. Along the way you pass glimpses of old imperial glories, the broken-tiled roofs of alley hutong residences, temples and parks that lie cached between colossal towers, and other monuments of a mighty, great-hearted country held hostage by dictators. At a subway stop, you shake hands with Teng, a 35-year-old disbarred lawyer and lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law. He hardly looks like a "a dissident," but rather a young scholar in rimless glasses, and as far as Teng is concerned he isn't one; rather, he is an "independent intellectual." His main offense is that he doesn't think the state should break its own laws -- imagine that -- and that it should keep its promise to use the Olympics to improve its human rights policies.
   "The Olympic Games were never nonpolitical in China," he says. "Many people thought the Olympic Games should be a good opportunity for the rule of law and political system, but the government just want to use Olympics Games as a chance to show how powerful they are."
   Together, you wind through mazelike streets, past tea shops, dodging wagons of watermelons and sidewalk games of the Chinese version of chess called xiangqi until you arrive at a double wooden door marked by a red lantern. It's a bar called Bed, one of the hotter meeting places for internationals, a fusion tapas joint built around an old Chinese residential courtyard called a siheyuan and furnished by industrial light fixtures and kangs (platform beds with large cushions). Teng heard about it from an American professor, who is hosting a small party in the back room. Known for its conversational ambiance, it has the virtue of being all but un-findable unless you know it's there. Not that Teng has given anyone the slip. During the next 45 minutes, the secret police will call his phone twice.
   Teng has been warned not to talk to foreign reporters, an order he has defied because he wishes you to know that appearances aren't everything at these Games, that the stunning orchestration of the Opening Ceremonies and the immaculate facade of Beijing are a mask for brutal repression. "It's more risky to speak during Olympic Games," he says, "but I think if more and more people know the truth about China, that would be helpful. If you go to Beijing you can see beautiful buildings and flowers and smiling faces but that's not the real China. Maybe only one part."
   Teng, who graduated in 2002 with a PhD from prestigious Peking University, has ruined his career and risked prison for legally defending the disenfranchised, including church pastors, government petitioners and Tibetans. In September 2007, he co-wrote an open letter with his fellow activist Hu Jia, in which they detailed the Chinese government's cleansings and crackdowns: street vendors beaten to death, 1.25 million people forced to move for Olympic construction, 35 journalists and 51 writers imprisoned, and prison torture including burning, clubbing, electric shock, sleep deprivation and chemical injections.
   "When you come to the Olympic Games in Beijing . . . you may not know that the flowers, smiles, harmony and prosperity are built on a base of grievances, tears, imprisonment, torture and blood," they wrote. They advised visitors to be aware that the Games would be held in a country with no elections, no freedom of religion and no independent judiciary.
   The state responded by arresting Hu and sentencing him to 3 1/2 years in prison. Teng was temporarily spared, probably because influential international advocates spoke on his behalf.
   In April, Teng offered legal aid to Tibetans arrested in the riots in Lhasa, signing an open letter with 17 other Chinese human rights lawyers. This time, the state responded by disbarring him and threatened to fire him from his university position. One night, state security agents seized him in the parking lot of his home. They threw a bag over his head, wrestled him into a car and drove him to an unknown location, where they interrogated him for 41 hours. They threatened to jail him for a decade if he continued to write and speak in criticism of the government, especially on the subject of the Games.
   What will be the repercussion of his decision to speak to foreign reporters during the Games? It's hard to say. In 2006, a man named Fu Xiancai was beaten until he was paralyzed after he was interviewed by German reporters.
   "The secret police they are collecting evidence every day," Teng says. "I'm not afraid. What I'm doing, what I have done, is right according to the law. And if they put me into prison, I just accept it. I'm prepared. When I choose to do human rights work, I'm prepared."
   He is open-faced and collegiate in a button-down shirt and mild-voiced with excellent English, punctuating his sentences with frequent "ums." He usually wears a T-shirt with the picture of a jailed blind legal activist named Chen Guangcheng, but the police have ordered him to keep it in a drawer. His aren't the manners of a rabble-rouser, but rather a mild academic and a concerned father -- he and his wife, Wang Ling, are the parents of a 2-year-old daughter. It's the only thing that gives him pause.
   "I have to balance the cost and the benefit," he says. "The main puzzle to me is the responsibility of intellectual, and the responsibility of a family member."
   Not everyone will agree with Teng's decision to talk. To some he may seem reckless, or mistaken, or disruptive of the "sport" of the Olympics.
   But silence during the Beijing Games wasn't an option in his view. Silence might have been an option if the IOC and its sponsors had objected to the crackdowns on Chinese dissidents over the last seven years. Instead, IOC President Jacques Rogge was virtually inaudible, earning Teng's disappointment and even contempt.
   "They're like a servant, a slave of Chinese government," he said.
   Truthful speech, according to Teng, will be the ultimate ruin of totalitarianism.
   "This regime is based on lies," Teng says. "There are so many lies in textbooks, so many lies in propaganda. So if we have the freedom to express, then Chinese people will realize they have to change the political system. The Communist Party cannot keep their power if they let Chinese people speak freely."
   Teng borrows this notion from his favorite thinker Vaclav Havel in his essay, "The Power of Powerlessness."
   "He said we should listen to our hearts and conscience and we can practice freedom and democracy in our daily life," Teng says.
   Whether you agree with him or not, Teng's statements are a marked contrast to the polite, stifled words of American athletes here. NBA players Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have diplomatically backed off their promise to discuss the plight of Darfur. Most U.S. competitors were evasive or gave answers of the "I'm here to swim" variety when asked about Chinese state's decision to revoke the visa of speedskating gold medalist and humanitarian Joey Cheek. Gymnast Justin Spring's blank response -- "Oh, that's the question they warned us about" -- still is cringe-provoking two days later.
   Obviously, Americans are struggling to find the most suitable ways of expressing themselves here. The basic right of speech also includes the option of silence -- no one should begrudge athletes who have worked four years for wanting their Olympic moment to be without controversy. And there are all kinds of effective ways of making a statement -- the Americans' election of Lomong, for instance, resounded like moral thunder. You just hope our athletic champions of democracy understand that the ability to choose their expressions is the ultimate luxury. As for Teng, he has been warned about questions, too. "If they ask, I answer," he says

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