When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited China in February, US-China relations were shaky, and the human rights dialogue to be assumed by the new Obama presidency was fraught with questions.
California has run out of prison cells. Many of its 33 prisons now operate at over 200 percent of capacity, crowding inmates into triple bunks in prison gymnasiums. These conditions have been shown to impede medical care delivery, spread epidemics, and increase the risk of violence to inmates and staff.
Dui Hua has learned of sentence reductions granted in the summer of 2008 to individuals imprisoned in Chongqing Municipality. Although the general sense is that there was widespread tightening-up by law enforcement in the run-up to last year’s Beijing Olympics, it appears there were at least limited acts of clemency toward prisoners taking place at the same time.
Recently discovered by Dui Hua in a 2005 volume published by Chishan Prison, in Hunan Province, a passage describes actions taken to “resist reform” by “counterrevolutionary” prisoners.
In February, “elude the cat” (躲猫猫, duo mao mao) became a popular phrase on the Chinese Internet after 24-year-old Li Qiaoming (李乔明) died from a head injury while being held for illegal logging in a detention center in Yunnan Province.
Dui Hua completes first 2009 mission; strengthens contacts through Hong Kong office.