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Despite China's efforts to increase transparency on the economic front – as evidenced by the country's Dec. 14 effort to crack down on corporate book-cookers — the Red Dragon government still appears to have an iron grip on information…
Last night, state media in the world's second-largest economy broadcasted an apparent confession and apology from Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin.
Dahlin, who works for the Chinese Urgent Action Working Group based in Sweden, stood accused of "endangering national security." He admitted to violating Chinese law through his recent activities in the country. In the broadcast, he acknowledged that his organization gave about $500 to Chinese "citizen lawyers" per month. These lawyers provided legal assistance to victims of government abuse, reported The LA Times this morning. Examples of such abuse include police beatings, forced demolitions, and extra-legal abductions.
Because he funded such grassroots attorneys and wrote reports on the country's human rights record, Dahlin was charged with "state subversion."
"I've caused harm to the Chinese government. I've hurt the feelings of the Chinese people," Dahlin said on live TV. "I apologize sincerely for this and I regret that this ever happened."
Observers of Dahlin's confession admitted that it seemed coerced, reported The LA Times, especially considering how closely it echoed the country's rhetoric when defending its own legal procedures against critics.
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