2.6 days in prison per character

via NYTimes.com, Chinese Woman Sentenced to a Year for Twitter Post:

BEIJING — A Chinese woman was sentenced to one year in a labor camp on Wednesday after she forwarded a satirical microblog message that urged recipients to attack the Japanese Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, human rights groups said Thursday.

The woman, Cheng Jianping, 46, was accused of “disturbing social order” for resending a Twitter message from her fiancé that mocked young nationalists who held anti-Japanese rallies in several cities last month. The original message sarcastically goaded protesters to go beyond the smashing of Japanese products and express their fury at the heavily policed expo site.

Ms. Cheng added the words: “Charge, angry youth.”[…]

Under China’s legal system, the police can send people to so-called re-education through labor for up to four years without trial. The system, thought to accommodate as many as 300,000 detainees, has been criticized by legal reformers who say it is easily abused. Such labor centers are largely populated by pickpockets, drug users and prostitutes, but are also used as a punishment for those guilty of political offenses. Once sentenced, people have little chance of appeal.

More info and details at the link above.

I know I am stating the obvious and going on one of my usual hyperbolic rants here, but it needs to be said: for all the xenophobic, anti Muslim hatred sweeping the Western world these days, I wish all that frustration was re-directed to put pressure on the appalling human rights records of the Chinese government. But I guess as long as we wish to have cheap goods, that’s not going to happen.

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