Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bad News for A.W.W., and Friends

A couple days ago, the news report below was released from a Chinese news source, however, any time it was released, it was blocked shortly afterwards. Like sometimes within minutes of posting. So people repost it, and then it gets blocked again.

I've been following the situation w/ A.W. reasonably closely as A.W. and Qianqian are friends (she worked under him for a time, and went Germany w/ him as part of a project).

Anyhow, A.W.'s been captured by police, and then AFTERWARDS they went to his house to come up with charges and evidence to prosecute him with. Now the news piece below was released, which talks about a rather horrific torturing method, and i really really hope it didn't come to that w/ A.W..

This story in general certainly affects the amount of respect i can give the government here. Yeah, shit happens in America, and no doubt Canadians have also done sickening things in Iraq or other places, but this is the issue that's occupying my mind more these days.

Important Note: i assume this piece of news hasn't surfaced on any major western news sources because the source pbly isn't verifiable. So perhaps i'm guilty of hearsay. i hope i am.

Side Note: it kinda makes me feel nervous to post about the artist A.W. now, so have taken his name off the page. Q reminds me and my brother when we use the phone, not to use his name when using Skype. Creepy times.

Chinese artist A.W. , disappeared by the authorities on April 3, is reported to have confessed to charges of tax evasion after being tortured in custody, according to an article published in aChinese human rights journal. 

The details of the case, said to have been leaked by “an official with conscience in the Ministry of Public Security,” were published on April 21 EST in a text titled “The Alarming Conspiracy Behind A.W's Torture and Confession,” dated April 19, in the biweekly journal of the NGO Human Rights in China (HRIC). The article claims to be written by an anonymous Xinhua journalist and was in the “Letters from China” section.

The text says that Fu Zhenghua, Director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, instructed A.W.'s captors to show him the video of the torture of Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who was targeted by the authorities after writing letters in protest of the persecution of Falun Gong. 

The video showing Gao being tortured, “included electric batons being inserted into Gao’s anus, and his blood, semen, feces, and urine draining out,” a translation of the first paragraph of the article says. 

Fu Zhenghua ordered that security forces do the same things to A.W., to “make him do what we want him to do.” The text says that, after being tortured for several days, A.W. signed a confession.

A.W.'s case is being handled by the Economic Investigation General Unit and the Domestic Security Team of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, the article says.

He Qinglian, a commentator on Chinese social and political issues, believes the reports of torture are credible. “I had thought about that when he was first detained,” she told Radio Free Asia inan interview. “You have to realize that he is the only one who dares to mock the authoritarian regime.”
When A.W.'s older sister Gao Ge saw the news, RFA reports, she said “I cannot let my mother see.”
She had no way of knowing the truth of the report, she said; they are going to ask the authorities to clarify the matter.

The journal's editorial policy says that they welcome submissions from a wide variety of sources. HRIC did not comment to The Epoch Times on whether they believe the article by the alleged Xinhua reporter to be credible or not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sit On It

So for... a couple... years maybe, i've wanted to have a meditation group in BJ. Since i've kinda missed my meditation gang DIY Dharma in Vancouver, which basically amounted to the best gang of people to meet up w/ and sit around with in silence.

So, i searched around town, but only found 1 meditation group offered. But i rather didn't dig it. It was just me and the host (a young Chinese woman) and we listened to some guided meditation track which (ironically enough) i detested so much i could barely keep from cringing throughout.

How un-detached of me.

So i've recently put out my own call out on a local expat-driven website, and had a few responses. The first official meeting one British woman came out, plus my brother (who announced that he'd have to leave after 20 min). Anyhow, no prob.

The nxt wk a young woman came who brought 2 friends plus 2 roommates. Plus a few others. 3 were meditation newbies, and afterwards it appeared that none of them found any great love for meditation.

Ah well, Q's never been a big fan either. Hey, diff strokes for diff folks. Although it is a shame that i'm not able to share this with her.

Anyhow, after a few weeks, it seems to have potential to grow, (which i don't care about much), and stabilize (which will be great).

and hopefully i can attract more experienced mediators who can take a turn at leading now and again.

Instructions and surrounding conversation bits tend to be ... about 1/2 English, 1/2 mandarin. which is a bit odd, but everyone seems to scrape by w/ minimal translations.

Anyhow, last night 5 of us were pretty darn focused, and after i finally rang the last bell (xylophone, actually), i started getting bored waiting for everyone to snap out of it. Stop blissing out, folks, it's almost my bedtime!

Well, that's my Tues night agenda for the next indeterminate length of time. i definitely feel its benefit, and hope that benefit can stretch out into the surrounding days and nights before long.

Be happy.

And quit wasting so much time online.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tianjin, Yet Again

Q and i went to Tianjin for a little holiday recently. It's only 35 min away via hi-speed rail but it is def a diff city. Um, you may recall i've visited it before a few times.

i still say BJ is better 'cause the new stuff's newer and the old stuff's older. But when i got a 3 day wkend, i get itchy feet.

So despite TJ's mediocrity, we had a pretty darn good time. 1st night we were looking for a bar, and got directed on a bit of a goosechase which wound up in what was essentially a massive packed nightclub except that it didn't have a dancefloor. Save for a mini stage replete w/ dancing bunny girls.

The dancing bunny girls reminded me too much of when a few of my own gr 10 students did a disturbingly sexed out dance performance.

Also the pumped dancing bartenders were pretty entertaining too.

Some guys did some live vocals which were passable. but in the end, the music went from not so bad to pretty darn bad, and we weren't able to finish our couple beers before vacating the premises.

Next day: walk walk walk walk and wound up in the TV tower rotating restaurant. Pix to follow soon.

Anyhow, it was good to a little trip out w/ the gf and things are going pretty good all in all. Sure, there's wrinkles in the fabric, but i've never been one to iron shirts, have i?