Josh Chin, with Yang Jie: Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang has never been one to hold his tongue. A document from a law firm that began circulating online Tuesday night shows how police are trying to use that outspokenness to send him to prison.
“Pu Zhiqiang has already he was responsible for posting most of these messages. The question is whether writing and posting them falls within the realm of free expression or constitutes a crime.”
Mr. Pu, a hard-charging attorney and Tiananmen Square veteran known for defending high-profile dissidents such as artist Ai Weiwei, was detained in May. The following month, he was formally arrested on suspicion of illegally obtaining personal information and picking quarrels, and in November prosecutors added charges of inciting ethnic hatred and inciting separatism. The last three charges are related to messages posted online by Mr. Pu and detailed in the document.
Mr. Pu’s lawyer, Shang Baojun, confirmed the authenticity of the document to China Real Time on Wednesday, saying it was a copy of posts compiled by his law firm from a list of evidence provided by prosecutors.
Police resubmitted Mr. Pu’s case to prosecutors earlier this month after their initial investigation was rejected for insufficient evidence, Mr. Shang said. Police and prosecutors have repeatedly ignored or declined to respond to requests for comment on Mr. Pu’s case.
The document lists 28 messages posted on the Weibo microblogging site between 2011 and 2014 from 12 different accounts belonging to Mr. Pu. (Dissidents in China often post from multiple accounts in order to evade censors.) The posts cover a range of topics, from China’s dispute with Japan over contested islands in the East China Sea to terrorist attacks attributed to Xinjiang separatists to Communist Party icon of do-goodery Lei Feng. Many of the posts, including those that deal with the issue of terrorism, appear to come in response to Weibo posts from other users or news organizations.
“Pu Zhiqiang has already he was responsible for posting most of these messages. The question is whether writing and posting them falls within the realm of free expression or constitutes a crime,” Mr. Shang said. “On this, we understand things differently (than the authorities).”
Mr. Shang said he hadn’t seen any evidence beyond the posts relating to the three charges. If indicted and found guilty of all four charges, Mr. Pu could face up to 20 years in prison, he said.
Below are rough China Real Time translations of seven of the posts as they appeared in the document.
2) June 8, 2013: One of the biggest lies of the last 60 years is Lei Feng. He hoodwinked me for two decades, actively pandering to his promoters, his diaries a collective creation. A monthly allowance of seven or eight yuan and he’s making 100-yuan donations – either that’s fiction or there’s corruption involved. Back then 30 million died from starvation, people my age might have taken a single photograph, and yet when he’s up late at night studying Mao with a flashlight, there are people taking pictures! He left thousands of photos behind! Beijing police, if you want to arrest hidden forces, go arrest the hidden forces behind Lei Feng. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on TIME:
A Saudi man accused of raping young girls was beheaded on Monday in the first execution under the administration of Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman.
Teacher Moussa al-Zahrani, 45, was beheaded in the western city of Jeddah, the Associated Press reports. The execution drew an unusual amount of debate on Saudi talk shows and social media, with citizens and relatives pointing out inconsistencies and gaps in evidence.
Al-Zahrani repeatedly maintained his innocence throughout his trial and appeals, and pleaded to the late Saudi King Abdullah to intervene in a video, which circulated widely in social media. The video featured al-Zahrani’s allegations that police framed him, eliciting a Twitter hashtag in Arabic “We are all Moussa al-Zahrani.”
However, King Salman, like his predecessor, chose not to intervene in the execution. Saudi Arabia continues to apply the death penalty to cases of rape, murder and other offenses according to the theocratic kingdom’s…
View original 8 more words
Hands Down, You’re Wrong
Jim Treacher writes: The Obama Way: Say what you think people want to hear, and keep saying it until they leave you alone. Then do whatever you were going to do anyway.
Or, don’t do whatever you weren’t going to do anyway. Chuck Ross reports:
The Justice Department is preparing to clear Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson of violating the civil rights of Michael Brown… Read the rest of this entry »
California’s Neo-Prohibitionists: L.A. City Council to Vote on an Ordinance Banning Alcohol Advertising on City PropertyPosted: January 20, 2015
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) January 20, 2015
“The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced (…) I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo told CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, had invited self-proclaimed terrorism expert Steven Emerson on one of its program segments in the wake of the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher market in Paris as part of its coverage of those events Jan. 11….(read more)
Originally posted on TIME:
Members of Congress will honor the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack during the State of the Union by holding up yellow pencils.
A spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin said that she will hold up a pencil and that they have confirmed that other lawmakers will do so as well.
“Rather than divide and intimidate us, these brazen and barbaric attacks have united the international community and prompted a global response in defense of the freedom of expression,” said Eric Harris, press secretary for Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI). Moore will participate in the tribute.
The pencil has become a symbol of remembrance and solidarity after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, which many saw as an attack on free speech.
The advance text of Obama’s speech is not yet available, but it is widely expected that he will reference the attack.
As regulators weigh imposing net neutrality on the Web, Congress tries to pre-empt government overreach
Robert M. McDowell writes: The Federal Communications Commission is about to answer the most important question in its 80-year history: Does the agency intend to protect the open Internet, or is it lunging to seize unlimited power over the Web? We’ll find out on Feb. 26 when the FCC votes on “net-neutrality” rules that would treat the Internet like a public utility, with regulators potentially setting rates, terms and conditions for providers.
Meanwhile, the new Congress is maneuvering to change the net-neutrality equation, with hearings in the House and Senate beginning Wednesday. Republicans circulated draft bills on Friday to pre-empt the FCC’s overreaching new rules while still attaining the White House’s ostensible policy goals. Even congressional supporters of net neutrality, wary of increasing FCC power over something as vast and crucial as the Internet, are working to draft an alternative.
While Republicans and Democrats try to work out a deal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler should hit the pause button on next month’s vote and let the elected representatives of the American people try to find common ground. At the end of this constitutional process, all sides may be able to claim victory.
“For opponents of new FCC rules, the bills could take Title II off the table; restore regulatory certainty; protect free speech; and create a legal firewall that would protect investment and innovation in the Web’s computer-network infrastructures from more government meddling.”
For years Washington has debated how to keep the Internet open and free from government or private coercion. Regulation proponents have argued that new rules are needed to prevent Internet service providers, such as phone, wireless and cable companies, from blocking or degrading the online content or applications consumers want. Though no market failure exists, and regulators have never conducted a study to diagnose the alleged potential illness, the FCC has twice tried to impose new rules on the Web. Each time it lost in court.
“This would also send a strong signal to foreign governments and international regulatory bodies that they should not smother the Web with antiquated rules designed in an era when people held their phones with two hands.”
The tragedy of this debate is that no one, including phone, wireless and cable companies, has ever contested the goals of keeping the Internet open. It has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was privatized in the mid-1990s because it is protected under existing antitrust and consumer-protection laws. Instead, the fight has been over how much regulatory power the FCC should wield. Read the rest of this entry »
A Ridgewood gym teacher has been sentenced to 10 months probation for pleading guilty to having sex with two underage male students, though she will have to complete a year’s worth of therapy in order to avoid jail time.
Joy Morsi, 40, was arrested in June when a student at the Grover Cleveland High School, where she taught since 1999, accused her of having a year-long sexual relationship with him when he was only 16. A second 16-year-old boy later came forth to accuse her as well, and she pleaded guilty on Friday to rape and criminal sexual act charges.
In addition to sentencing her to a year-long out-patient program for a diagnosed depressive disorder, a Queens Supreme Court judge also ordered that she give up her teaching license and register as a sex offender…(read more)
The New York Post reports:
A Queens gym teacher pleaded guilty to having sexual relations with two of her students and was sentenced to a year of outpatient psychiatric counseling Friday, officials said.
If she completes the therapy, Joy Morsi, 40, will be sentenced to 10 years’ probation, a Queens Supreme Court judge ordered. Morsi must also give up her teaching license and register as a sex offender.
The Ridgewood teacher admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old Grover Cleveland High School student and exposing herself and performing a sex act on a second 16-year-old student, officials said. Her attorney said she had a diagnosed “depressive disorder.” (read more)
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Filmmaker Roman Polanski says he hopes Poland won’t extradite him to the U.S., where he is wanted in a 1977 sex case.
The Oscar-winning director is in Poland preparing for a movie, which he is planning to film in February and March.
“I will submit myself to the procedure and we will see. I have confidence in Poland’s justice system.”
The U.S. justice authorities recently asked Poland to arrest and extradite Polanski, 81, who has Polish and French passports. In October, prosecutors in Krakow, where Polanski has an apartment, questioned him but refused to arrest him. They are planning to question him again following the arrival of the extradition request this month…
In October, he was in Warsaw for the opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and then traveled to Krakow, where he met the prosecutors. He hired Polish lawyers in anticipation of the extradition request. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON—House Republicans re-elected John Boehner (R., Ohio) for a third term as House speaker on Tuesday over the objections of a band of frustrated conservatives lobbying for a new leader.
Senior Republicans expressed some frustration that internal GOP dissent was grabbing the headlines on the first day of the 114th Congress.
Mr. Boehner, 65 years old, faced more opposition from his party’s right flank than in years past, but not enough to oust him from the House’s top post. After being selected among House Republicans for the post in November, he was officially re-elected in a floor roll-call vote, as the new Congress—now fully controlled by Republicans—convened on Tuesday.
Conservatives defecting from Mr. Boehner said they objected to how he ran the House, faulting him for hashing out too many deals behind closed doors and not giving lawmakers enough time to read legislation before voting.
Even some of the most conservative House Republicans voted for Mr. Boehner, citing the party’s victories in last fall’s midterm election that gave the GOP control of the Senate and expanded the House’s Republican majority.
“I’ve had my differences with the speaker, but I plan to support him,” Rep. John Fleming (R., La.) said before the vote. “He led us through a period where we’ve increased our majority, substantially.”
In November’s midterm election, House Republicans won 247 seats, their largest majority in decades. After the resignation of Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.), effective Monday, Republicans control 246 of the chamber’s 435 seats. Read the rest of this entry »
STICKIN’ IT TO THE MAN: ‘I refuse to comply with the requirements of my illegal detention under house arrest. The bracelet with some effort has been cut off with kitchen scissors’Posted: January 5, 2015
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny Defies House Arrest
Navalny received suspended sentence on 30 December for embezzling money but was not released from house arrest
Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Monday he would no longer comply with the terms of his house arrest and had cut off his monitoring tag.
Navalny, who led mass protests against Vladimir Putin three years ago, was handed a suspended sentence on 30 December after being found guilty of embezzling money in a trial that led to his brother being jailed on similar charges.
“It is stupid to brag, but I am the first person in the history of Russian courts to be sitting under house arrest after the verdict.”
He was placed under house arrest almost a year ago during the investigation but said in a blog that he was perhaps the only person in Russian legal history to be kept under house arrest after being sentenced.
He said he should have been released after sentencing in late December but instead was being held pending the publication of the verdict on 15 January – a situation that even the police did not know how to deal with. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Mia Love on Obamacare: ‘I’ve said I was going to do everything I can to repeal and replace it with broad health-care reforms, free-market health-care reforms. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do’Posted: January 5, 2015
Newly elected House member Mia Love said Sunday she is behind Senator Ted Cruz’s plan to “do everything humanly possible to stop Obamacare.”
“Look, I was elected by my district to make sure we get the decision-making back in their hands. And I’ve said I was going to do everything I can to repeal and replace it with broad health-care reforms, free-market health-care reforms. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Daniel Payne writes: My colleague Robert Tracinski recently re-instituted the Democratic Party Death Watch, an alert that signifies the donks are “betting everything on the far-left base while driving away their own blue-collar and middle class constituents.” The modern Democratic Party being a clumsy amalgamation of economic buffoons and social justice warriors, a death watch is an appropriate vigil to keep, although I wouldn’t bet against Elizabeth Warren making fiscal insanity and dimwitted neo-Marxist philosophy a mainstream policy platform. It has been done before.
Nevertheless, the Democratic death watch sounds fine with me, and while we’re at it we can celebrate one of the other victories of the past year, a triumph that is not-coincidentally contemporaneous with the imploding prospects of the Democrats: 2014 was a year in which gun control became more of a liability for the Left than an asset.
To be sure, there are still plenty of politicians out there who are interested in restricting and curtailing gun rights: they will always be there, constantly mumbling about background checks and “loopholes” and 30-clip military-style magazine-rifles. Ignore them. In the main, gun control has become a distasteful subject and a losing prospect for many who seek it. Early in December, Pew released a poll showing that, for the first time in more than two decades, a majority of Americans support gun rights over gun control. Across the board these numbers have risen from just a couple of years ago after the Newtown shootings: the share of Democrats who believe in protecting gun rights rose 6 percent, the same as Republicans generally; among “conservative/moderate Democrats” the jump was a startling 12 percent. Urban, suburban, and rural Americans all increased their support of gun rights over gun control; blacks did too, by a whopping 10 percent.
The Signs of Desperation Abound
This isn’t to say that everyone who sides with gun rights believes in no gun regulations at all, only that the gun controllers have suffered a decisive and, frankly, humiliating defeat: for all the fearmongering, all the nasty and deceitful scare tactics that the Left has used over the past few years to convince more Americans to give up their gun rights, a majority of Americans have largely ignored this advice and even turned against it.
Long Lines Outside of California DMV in Exposition Park as Hundreds of Non-Citizens Apply for Driver’s LicensePosted: January 2, 2015
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) January 2, 2015