滕彪文集
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滕彪文集
·奥运和乞丐不能并存?
·滕彪李苏滨关于青岛于建利涉嫌诽谤罪案的辩护意见
·纽约时报社评:中国的爱国小将们
·回网友四书
·我们都来关注滕彪博士/王天成
·暴力带不来和平,恐怖建不成和谐——就滕彪、李和平事件感言/王德邦
·让滕彪回家、追究国保撞车肇事的法律责任、还被监控公民自由/维权网
·刘晓波:黑暗权力的颠狂——有感于滕彪被绑架
·Article 37 of the PRC Law on Lawyers: A New Trap Set for Lawyers
·Chinese lawyer missing after criticising human rights record
·Chinese Lawyer Says He Was Detained and Warned on Activism
·For Chinese activists, stakes are raised ahead of the Olympics
·To my wife, from jail/Teng Biao
·Beijing Suspends Licenses of 2 Lawyers Who Offered to Defend Tibetans in Court
·National Endowment for Democracy 2008 Democracy Awards
·获奖感言
·司法与民意——镜城突围
·Rewards and risks of a career in the legal system
·太离谱的现实感
·35个网评员对“这鸡蛋真难吃”的不同回答(转载加编辑加原创)
·Dissonance Strikes A Chord
·顺应历史潮流 实现律协直选——致全体北京律师、市司法局、市律协的呼吁
·但愿程序正义从杨佳案开始/滕彪 许志永
·维权的计算及其他
·我们对北京律协“严正声明”的回应
·网络言论自由讨论会会议纪要(上)
·网络言论自由讨论会会议纪要(下)
·Well-Known Human Rights Advocate Teng Biao Is Not Afraid
·法眼冷对三鹿门
·北京律师为自己维权风暴/亚洲周刊
·胡佳若获诺贝尔奖将推动中国人权/voa
·奥运后的中国人权
·Chinese Activist Wins Rights Prize
·我无法放弃——记一次“绑架”
·认真对待出国权
·毒奶粉:谁的危机?
·不要制造聂树斌——甘锦华抢劫案的当庭辩护词
·“独立知识分子”滕彪/刘溜
·经济观察报专访/滕彪:让我们不再恐惧
·人权:从理念到制度——纪念《世界人权宣言》60周年
·公民月刊:每一个人都可能是历史的转折点
·抵制央视、拒绝洗脑
·公民在行动
·Charter of Democracy
·阳光茅老
·中国“黑监狱”情况让人担忧/路透社
·《关于取缔黑监狱的建议》
·用法律武器保护家园——青岛市河西村民拆迁诉讼代理词
·关于改革看守所体制及审前羁押制度的公民建议书
·仅仅因为他们说了真话
·再审甘锦华 生死仍成谜
·邓玉娇是不是“女杨佳”?
·星星——为六四而作
·I Cannot Give Up: Record of a "Kidnapping"
·Political Legitimacy and Charter 08
·六四短信
·倡议“5•10”作为“公民正当防卫日”
·谁是敌人——回"新浪网友"
·为逯军喝彩
·赠晓波
·正义的运动场——邓玉娇案二人谈
·这六年,公盟做了什么?
·公盟不死
·我们不怕/Elena Milashina
·The Law On Trial In China
·自由有多重要,翻墙就有多重要
·你也会被警察带走吗
·Lawyer’s Detention Shakes China’s Rights Movement
·我来推推推
·许志永年表
·庄璐小妹妹快回家吧
·开江县法院随意剥夺公民的辩护权
·Summary Biography of Xu Zhiyong
·三著名行政法学家关于“公盟取缔事件”法律意见书
·公益诉讼“抑郁症”/《中国新闻周刊》
·在中石化上访
·《零八宪章》与政治正当性问题
·我来推推推(之二)
·我来推推推(之三)
·國慶有感
·我来推推推(之四)
·国庆的故事(系列之一)
·国庆的故事(系列之二)
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·我来推推推(之五)
·我来推推推(之六)
·净空(小说)
·作为反抗的记忆——《不虚此行——北京劳教调遣处纪实》序
·twitter直播-承德冤案申诉行动
·我来推推推(之七)
·关于我的证言的证言
·我来推推推(之八)
·不只是问问而已
·甘锦华再判死刑 紧急公开信呼吁慎重
·就甘锦华案致最高人民法院死刑复核法官的紧急公开信
·我来推推推(之九)
·DON’T BE EVIL
·我来推推推(之十)
·景德镇监狱三名死刑犯绝食吁国际关注
·江西乐平死刑冤案-向最高人民检察院的申诉材料
·我来推推推(之十一)
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To Remember Is to Resist/Teng Biao


   Posted on February 12, 2013
   by Tom
   
   

   Simply put, Teng Biao (滕彪) is one of the best known human rights lawyers and legal scholars in China. This is his preface to a memoir entitled “A Worthwhile Trip—A Documentation of Beijing Reeducation-through-Labor Dispatch Center”, in which he looks deep into what these camps do to inmates as human beings. It’s much worse than just turning them into cheap labor making Christmas gifts for the American market.
   
   
   I
   
   It’s inconceivable, in a modern society, to detain a citizen for up to three, even four, years based merely on police decisions without going through any proper judiciary procedure. But in present-day China, it is a vivid reality, and hundreds and thousands of Chinese citizens have fallen victims to it. That is since China’s re-education-through-labor system was implemented in 1957. More and more scholars, lawyers and citizens from all walks of life have been making strong demand to abolish it, while the international community has also been pressing China to end it by honoring a series of international human rights conventions that China has adopted. But until today, re-education-through-labor is still widely used. Re-education-through-labor camps detain not only petty criminals, but also drug addicts, prostitutes and clients of prostitutes, and people with mental illnesses. More and more, it has been used to persecute Falungong practitioners, petitioners and dissidents.
   
   Like with most of the things in life, people often are satisfied with a general impression or prevailing description without a chance, or the willingness, to explore and study it in detail, especially the fate and the feelings of the people involved. On topics such as that of war, disaster, mass murder, imprisonment and torture, we tend to, intentionally or not, avoid its dark and bloody depth. But this is precisely what good writing does, especially documentary writing. It is an important addition to our routine experiences. We must face it all; we must not pretend these things have never happened.
   
   The book in front of me, A Worthwhile Trip—A Documentation of Beijing Reeducation-through-Labor Dispatch Center, is a witness’ testimony of China’s re-education-through-labor system. It reveals the system to us, and at the same time, it also raises much larger issues about our political system, society and human nature. The author of the book is Ye Jinghuan (野靖环), a victim of “Xin Guo Da” futures fraud (新国大) in late 1990s involving former Prime Minister’s son. During eleven years of petitioning, she was repeatedly beaten by police, detained, arrested, and finally been given reeducation-through-labor. In the Reeducation-through-Labor Dispatch Center, she suffered various torture, sometimes on to the brink of breaking down. But she kept telling herself, “I can’t die, I can’t lose my mind, I must get out of here alive! I must tell everyone about the evils of re-education-through-labor, and I must tell it to posterity!” Because of her refusal to give in, the world is able to see the true face of re-education-through-labor. At the same time, writing is cathartic for the author; through it she is able to re-examine life and participate in reality constructively.
   
   II
   
   According to the author’s investigation, most petitioners among RTL detainees have been subjected to electric baton and confinement in the “little dark room”. Even though China adopted the UN Convention against Torture in 1988, torture is still widely used these days in detention centers, prisons and other incarceration venues, and a great number of citizens die of it, or are debilitated by it. Torture perpetrated in RTL camps is extremely cruel; brutalities against Falungong practitioners are beyond imagination and continue to be perpetrated. The persecution of Falungong has long marked the nadir of human civilization, and constitutes, without a doubt, crimes against humanity. But internationally and domestically, only a few are willing, or would dare, to condemn it. For intellectuals and politicians, it is an irony and a shame that will only grow as time moves on.
   
   The “characteristics” of Chinese prisons lie in that “law enforcers humiliate and abuse prisoners as a part of the system,” said Wang Lixiong when commenting on Liao Yiwu’s Testimony. A Worthwhile Trip is less about physical abuses than the routine “teaching” in the camp that abuses and tortures the “RTLers” mentally. Many of its rules and informal requirements are designed to humiliate people so as to destroy their basic dignities as human beings. For example, “Head must be lowered when walking in hallways, lining up, speaking to police officers. Standard head-lowering is to look at the tip of your toes.” For another example, no going to restroom is allowed except at designated times. “Shoes, tooth brush and other objects must be displayed in a straight line; no compromise is tolerated.” If you wash your neck when you wash your face, watchers will call you out immediately, “Who said you can wash your neck? Wash your face only, no washing anywhere else!” To receive your meal at meal times, male RTLers must kneel on one knee with both hands holding up the bowl. Damp clothes cannot be dried over bedframes or chairs even during the night. No looking out the windows. RTLers must address each other by names; calling someone “Aunt” or “Sister” will result in point reduction for behavior. Such requirements are ubiquitous. The first day in the Center the cadre said, addressing to the newcomers, “To put it simply, don’t think you are a human being.” While urging the RTLers to forget about what it means to be a human, the administration officers indeed carried out that advice. Some RTLers summarized the methods as “Strike down your self-esteem; destroy your soul; humiliate your dignity; and weaken your health.” Obviously, these methods are not meant to “educate and reshape” but to degrade.
   
   Along with physical “disciplines” are remake of the mind. For any little error that’s been discovered, you have to repent in writing. Those who are disobedient or unwilling to give up their beliefs are subjected to a form of solitary confinement, Bao Jia (包夹, wrap and sandwich) where two or more RTLers are used to punish a particular RTLer by sandwiching him or her 24 hours a day so that he or she will have no freedom whatsoever to move or talk. Other punishments include reducing his or her points, denying family visits, extending or threatening to extend, his or her sentences. Bao Jia seems to be a unique Chinese invention. According to the rules, the sandwiching RTLers must stay less than 10cm away from the sandwiched RTLer, and they are required to keep detailed record of every utterance, every movement, and any mood changes of the RTLer. Even his or her sleep has to be described too.
   
   One time, Ye Jinghuan was upbraided for having “too relaxed expressions” that the lieutenant noticed from surveillance cameras. Along with microphones and small speakers, they readily remind us of the screens and the Big Brother in 1984. In the camp, the more you appear strong, composed and humane, the more they hate you. Those who are degraded to the level of a worm or an insect submitting to the apparatus or becoming its helpers are the ones who please the camp keepers the most.
   
   The book tells a story: Lu Jing (卢静) and Ye Jinghuan were roommates and became good friends. Lu called Ye mom, and this is how Ye describes the young girl: “She was always sunny, full of joy. She was so uplifting to me. I liked her very much.” But having been assigned to sandwich Ye Jinghuan for a while, one day, she suddenly broke down. She said, crying, “Lieutenant Yuan said everybody was reporting to her that I had never upbraided you; and that I often talked to you, and I let you use bathroom and wash your hands when I was on duty. She knows everything. She said if I wanted to reduce my sentence, I must change my attitude toward you. She said she knows our relationship in Haidian Detention Center, and that’s why she has put it up for so long. But not anymore! Ye Jinghuan, from now on, I have to watch you the way the lieutenant requires of me; or I will have no hope.” The author said, “Lu Jing, do what you want to do; don’t think about me.” Lu Jing said, “The lieutenant requires me to scold you every day, I can’t do it because of our friendship in Haidian Detention Center. But I have no choice. If I don’t pick on you, they will pick on me. In the end, I will be given the sandwich treatment just like you. If I am like you, upbraided and dressed down every day, I won’t be able to live. So I am going to protect myself first. I have been in prison for four years and I have never felt so terrible. It’s only been four months here, and I can’t take it anymore.”

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