Chengdu Authorities Guard Against Anti-PX Project Protest
Voices against “PX project in Pengzhou” has been
raised again by citizens in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
On the internet, someone has called on the public to
protest by “taking a walk” on May 4th.
Chengdu authorities have deployed polices and guards
all over the city, and threatened local citizens in many ways.
Chengdu authorities have massively distributed flyers,
warning citizens not to get involved in the protest.
The printing stores are banned from making anti-PX posters.
Chengdu’s media have all been silenced.
Online posts about the Pengzhou PX project,
such as photos and remarks, have all been removed.
Sina Weibo service has censored any online searches
for the word “Pengzhou PX project”.
Radio Free Asia cited Mr. Xing, a local rights activist.
He said that Chengdu is now under heavy security.
There is a fearful atmosphere.
One of his friends sent him a web link about
Pengzhou PX project in 2010.
The friend was then illegally questioned
by local domestic security police.
A lot of rights activists have been forcibly sent out of town,
in the name of “travel”.
In order to prevent the protest, local primary and middle
schools have been required to hold class on May 4th and 5th.
The 38-billion-yuan chemical project has now
entered the production phase.
Its construction has gone through two earthquakes
that occurred in Wenchuan and Lushan.
Besides pollution, local citizens are worried that
the plant has been built on the seismic zone.
Once an earthquake triggers pollution leakages,
the Chengdu Plain would be dealt a crushing blow.
Back in 2008, Pengzhou citizens staged a large-scale mass
protest against the PX project. It was put down by local officials.
Involuntary Detention Still Permitted
In China’s Mental Hospitals
US-based NGO, Human Rights Watch issued
a report on May 3rd.
It criticized China’s newly operant Mental Health Act,
which cannot truly end involuntary imprisonment.
The report stated that the involuntary detention of people
with mental disorders in China is far from following the UN
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Voice of America quoted Sophie Richardson,
China director at Human Rights Watch.
It said that China’s Mental Health Act still permits
The authorities or the families can forcibly
send the detainees into metal hospitals.
Human Rights Watch cited examples that include detainees
being beaten, forced to take medicines, given shock treatments.
According to the report, China’s psychiatric institutions are
often used to imprison political dissidents, activists and petitioners.
Global Writers Called On China’s Leaders For Press Freedom
UK’s Guardian newspaper reported on
a plea for artistic freedom in China.
The appeal was initiated by over 100 world-renowned writers.
They asked China’s new leaders to “Release all those unjustly
imprisoned for exercising this most fundamental right”.
The open letter indicated that in China, over 40 writers and
journalists are still “jailed for their work”.
“Our plea to China’s new leaders is simple.
Respect and protect the right of our colleagues and
all of China’s citizens, to freedom of expression.”
“Respect and protect the right of Chinese citizens
to a free and independent press.”
“Release all those unjustly imprisoned for
exercising this most fundamental right.”