Is it a Crime to Appeal?
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, I read a news article stating that in some places in China, the following appeared as part of an "anti-appeal" movement, that is, "Strike Hard Against All People with Unreasonable Appeals!" "Firmly Strike Against All Those Appealing to Government Agencies Higher than the Local Agency!" I was stunned by the report. According to my understanding, the so-called "Strike Hard Movement" is aimed at serious violent or financial crimes such as murder, robbery and gang-related activities that severely threaten social stability. However, "appealing," even when accompanied by prefixes such as "unreasonable" or "[to] government agencies higher than the local agency," is a fundamental right of the public. Is it a crime to appeal? Why would it be a target of being "struck hard?" Does the government not serve the people? Doesn't the government have appeal agencies at all levels in order to support and encourage people to express their views and concerns?
Although there is no law against appeals, and although there are explicit rules that support public appeals, in some people's eyes, appeals are not just a hassle to take care of, but rather something to be hated. These government officials regard those who persistently appeal as their arch nemesis. Only by getting rid of them will the officials feel at ease. In some places, the person in power is the determining factor in how laws are interpreted and carried out.
According to a friend of mine who knows the inside story, every time a high-level government official comes to inspect work units, the first and foremost thing some local government officials do is to make sure people won't appeal to their superiors while they are there. As for those who are persistent, they have a softer way of dealing with them and a harsher way. The softer way is to have those who might appeal sent out of town by their work units, and the harsher way is to send police officers to directly "watch over" them or simply arrest them with some trumped-up charge. In the eyes of some people in power, appealing is a crime, and it is something even worse than murder, arson and robbery.
What really surprised me was how blatant these slogans were. I did not expect them to remove their only facade and reveal their true intentions in such an obvious way. However, according to them, such slogans are still logical and reasonable, "I did not say you can't appeal. I just said you can't make 'unreasonable' appeals or appeal to any government agencies that are higher than the local one." So maybe they are not that blatant after all. But actually, what difference does it make? I once heard a village head say, "If there are conflicts between the Constitution and our village rules, we should always go with our village rules." Moreover, the People's Congress did not set up any law stating that it was a crime to appeal. So what do they have to worry about?
The inevitable outcome of this is that the people will be disappointed. People originally expected that the "Strike Hard Movement" would sweep away all the gangs and violent criminals. However, can local officials who focus on penalizing those who dare to appeal provide a good life for the people?