If it is true that you won’t understand Chinese society through Xinwen Lianbo (Chinese state television’s daily news programme), you should not build a picture of China’s legal system from its laws, either. In many cases, legal clauses have not been properly implemented.
The re-education through labour system (known in Chinese as laojiao) is a form of punishment with “Chinese characteristics”. It can be handed down without a trial or prosecution and defence.
On the afternoon of 2 April 2011, Beijing police suddenly summoned me to the local police station. Without any legal procedure or permission, they turned on my computer and inspected my email account and QQ chat records. I was detained for more than ten hours.
In China, the internet has become a common way to get access to information. People visit media websites such as Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily Online, Sina, Sohu, QQ, NetEase and ifeng.com. Some of these websites were registered abroad, or are listed in the US.
Last week the European Parliament agreed on a new law to provide specific assistance and protection to people who suffer crime because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or, in a first for EU law, gender expression.