I wrote a post recently about torture in medieval Europe, and thought it would make sense to write one about torture during the same time period in other countries. I decided to look to China first, but I didn’t have to look very far back into history to find brutality. Torture is rife in the Chinese prison system to this very day. Being locked up doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs anywhere in the world but China has to be one of the least cool.
America has the most people in prison per capita in the world with 737 out of every 100,000 people languishing at Obama’s pleasure. China is in second place with 118 out of every 100,000 citizens. The terrifying thing about China is that it’s pretty easy to get into trouble and land yourself a stiff and long sentence for things that we might consider fairly trivial. Some of the ways you can wind up getting yourself in a spot of bother include being uncooperative with a Public Security Officer, photographing a military exercise or openly criticising the government or politics of China.
This month there’s been news that it’s now illegal to post something untrue on the internet. That doesn’t sound too bad at first glance, but who decides what’s “truth”? It basically means that if you were to write about a corrupt politician, they could simply call you a liar and off you go straight to jail without passing Go or collecting 200 of anything. If the message you wrote got 500 re-posts on the Chinese social media site Weibo, or 5000 visits, you could end up in jail for three years. Just for a Retweet? Nuts.
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