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滕彪: 陈光诚案凸显中国法治的困局



滕 彪

    Crusader in a legal wilderness
    by Teng Biao
     South China Morning Post
    July 31, 2006
    This year Time magazine named activist Chen Guangcheng one of the world's 100 most influential people. Chen is a lawyer who has exposed forced abortion and other abuses in China's family-planning policy - and who also happens to be blind. But if you enter his name on an internet search engine in mainland China, you get nothing. Where is he?
    Right now, he sits in a detention centre in his home province of Shandong , where his class-action lawsuits on behalf of victims of brutal family-planning enforcement have enraged local leaders. In March, after half a year of house arrest, Chen was detained on spurious charges of "intentional destruction of property" and "gathering a crowd to block traffic". Soon he will enter a court in which the judge is not truly free to be a judge.
    The methods that mainland officials have used to enforce family-planning quotas have raised concerns among human rights groups around the world. Chen and his supporters have shown that these methods have included not only forced abortion and forced sterilisation, but also arbitrary detention, beatings and confiscation of property.
    All these measures are expressly forbidden by law, but are widespread, nonetheless. Officials on the mainland are not promoted if residents in their jurisdictions exceed family-planning quotas. Last year, in Chen's home county of Linyi , the family-planning campaign led to forced abortion, forced sterilisation, detention and torture of as many as 500,000 people. Some torture resulted in death.
    The Communist Party secretary there, a man named Li Qun, was once an intern in the mayor's office in New Haven, Connecticut. He must have known something about the principles of modern government at the time he took up his post in Shandong. But the pressures of China's political system turned him into an "assassin" of human rights. If Linyi failed its population quotas, his career would go nowhere.
    Choosing between loss of face before superiors and the need to squash Chen, Shandong officials have chosen the latter. In August last year, Chen and his wife - who was a nursing mother at the time - were illegally put under house arrest. It was the only way local officials could imagine blocking his efforts to expose further abuse. Lawyers who tried to help him were met with beatings and death threats from hired thugs.
    China's leaders have written "human rights" into their constitution, and the country has joined some international human rights conventions. These steps seem aimed at winning public legitimacy for the government, now that the socialist ideology has collapsed in all but name. In practice, though, as Chen's work shows, there will be little hope for human rights on the mainland without multi-party competition, an independent judiciary and a free press.
    The good news is that mainlanders' thirst for the rule of law and human rights continues to thrive despite the harsh political environment. Increasing numbers of villagers are taking their rights seriously and using the law as a weapon.
    More and more people - lawyers, intellectuals and ordinary citizens - are intervening in cases such as Chen's, while more and more "rights defenders" have emerged at the grass-roots level. And the government itself is hardly ironclad: many officials would prefer to follow the rule of law, if the system made it possible.
    Sooner or later, national rulers will need to learn that catchwords like "human rights", "rule of law" and "a harmonious society" will not lead to legitimate government until concrete safeguards are in place.
    Chen's trial, initially scheduled for July 20, has been postponed. He remains in detention, innocent - but not yet proven so.
    Teng Biao is a lecturer at the University of Politics and Law in Beijing.



滕 彪
    时代周刊评选的2006年度最有影响的 100人中,有一位为反对强制堕胎和计生人员暴力的中国盲人,陈光诚。但在中国大陆互联网的搜索引擎中,输入他的名字几乎没有任何结果。他在哪儿?在山东省沂南县看守所里。他揭露野蛮计生真相并帮助受害者起诉政府的行动激怒了地方政府的领导;被软禁半年之后,他在今年3月份被拘留,目前正面临着一场法官无法决定判决结果的审判。
    临沂市党委书记李群曾经在New Haven做过市长助理,他不太可能没有现代政治意识。但在中国政治体系中,他却成为不折不扣的人权杀手。如果一个领导不能完成上级下达的控制人口的指标,他的其他工作再出色也可能在官场上被淘汰。而不以违法的方式,又不可能完成人口任务。党-国政治的逻辑和社会现实迫使官员抛弃法律。计划生育工作凸显了中国法治的困局。
    陈光诚案同样如此。这位曾与另外13 名中国人权律师一起被亚洲周刊评选为2005年亚洲风云人物的盲人活动家,他和他的尚在哺乳期的妻子从去年8月起就被地方政府软禁。这是非法的;但想要阻止他继续公开黑幕和帮助村民维权,法律只能再次靠边站。陈光诚的律师多次受到官员和政府雇用的打手的殴打和死亡威胁,甚至律师的相机在警察面前被抢走,而警察听之任之;法律受到了政治的轻蔑地嘲笑。
    中国执政者将人权写入宪法,以及加入一些国际人权公约,无非是摆脱传统的社会主义意识形态危机的一种手段,以此来重建统治的合法性。但中国的政治体制——没有政党竞争、没有司法独立、没有新闻自由——无法使人权得到真正保障。陈光诚案展示了这样一幅图景。不过从另外的眼光来看,也可以看到法治与人权的希望正在贫瘠的政治土地上开始萌芽。越来越多的律师、知识分子和民间人士介入人权案件;越来越多的普通村民拿起法律的武器,“take rights seriously”;普通公民中成长出来越来越多的草根精英;而且,政府亦非铁板一块,一些官员在有机会的时候,会选择依法办事。政府终究会意识到,没有切实的政治体制的保障,仅有人权、法治与和谐社会等口号无法达到重塑政治合法性的目的。
    陈光诚案交织着权力与权利、政治与法律、意识形态与利益的复杂博弈,广泛的民间参与、国际关注使它正在成为中国现代化进程中一个具有历史意义的事件。而最紧迫的任务是,如何让一个无罪的盲人、一个优秀的中国公民,重获自由。 (博讯记者:蔡楚) [博讯首发,欢迎转载,请注明出处]- 支持此文作者/记者(博讯 boxun.com)
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