Skip Nav
These Will Be the Hottest Wedding Trends of 2017
6 Things to Stop Doing Now If You Want Happy, Healthy Relationships
Women's Health
Women Bear the Burden of Hormonal Birth Control — Here's My Story

Elderly Chinese Women Sentenced to Hard Labor For Protests

Despite the news of sparkly gold, silver, and bronze medals raining out of China, some awards haven't been so auspicious. Despite big plans to allow dissent during the Games, not only have no protests been approved, some of those who did apply have either disappeared or were sentenced to labor re-education camps.

Who's being sent to camps? Threatening characters like two women in their late 70s who were forced from their homes in 2001 and wanted to use the Olympic opportunity to protest. On their first trip to Beijing Public Security Bureau, they were interrogated for 10 hours and then the two septuagenarians were then sentenced to one year for “disturbing the public order.” To see what the sentence means for the women,


This sentence places restrictions on their movements and, if they breach any requirements, both — did I mention one of them is blind? — will be sent to a labor camp. The reeducation system, nearly 50 years old, removes the need for a trial or a formal charge and allows the government to detain people for up to four years doing hard labor.

What kind of labor could a 77 and a 79-year-old do? Hard-core crochet?


Join The Conversation
suziryder suziryder 8 years
This is shocking. Labor camps?? Is this really the 21st century? How can the West just blithely ignore this sort of thing?
girlA girlA 8 years
That is outrageous! It takes things like this to make me appreciate our rights more.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Oh, for God's sake. They're in their seventies. "The reeducation system, nearly 50 years old, removes the need for a trial or a formal charge" Lovely, isn't it? I'm a fan of due process myself.
stephley stephley 8 years
We keep reading how much better China is getting which, considering things it did even 12 years ago is true - but I still don't feel comfortable being too supportive of or economically tied to such a repressive system.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
wow. if anything, all of the bizarre news coming out as a result of these olympics has reminded me of how great it is to live in a free society. i wonder how china intends to blend the rapid development and consumerism of the west with these draconian laws against public protest and free speech - and still move ahead as a world power? it's fascinating to watch a country develop this fast. it's like we've been given a time machine and we can go back to the period directly following the industrial revolution. they are building highways, suburbs and chain stores quicker than they can address the social issues that come with giving people the power that comes along with spending. money is a drug.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that they are just trying to make a change some how - monitoring what's going on and hope that it doesn't disrupt the way that things are going on during the Olympics since they are in the global spotlight. i don't know what they hope to gain though by putting these elderly people in to the camps - but i guess they can't really take the time to do it on a case by case basis. t hey would be called out for hand picking who has to obey the rules etc. i don't know if it's worth it honestly though. people who want to protest are steadfast and they aren't likely to listen to the 're-education' and what have you in the camps. i think that there's a way to protest peacefully and organized - i just don't know how they plan to achieve it when the government seems to antagonize people by trying to do this .
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
It has been and is still going to be a long time before China makes any changes for the best in those areas. Despite all the efforts that the citizens of China make and the 'Free Tibet' fundraisers and concerts that happen in other countries, nothing changes. What exactly do the officials plan to have two elderly women do for a year in the reeducation camp? I mean really, especially when one of this is visually impaired?
Chelsea Manning Nightline Interview on Being Transgender
Are Fitness Trackers Accurate at Counting Calories?
Undocumented Father Detained by ICE
Adam West Dead
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds