Chinese continue to assert civic rights; judge protests

A judge in Wuhan staged protest in front of court seeking justice for his wife.

Beijing: In yet another instance of growing
protests by people to assert their civic rights in China, a
judge in Wuhan province staged a protest in front the court
seeking justice for his wife, who he claims was "illegally
laid off" by her employer.

Police at the Hubei Higher Peoples Court in China was
caught unawares yesterday when Judge Feng with red judge badge
tagged on to his uniform stood in front of the court with a
handbill in Chinese stating "grievance".

The move was the latest in his two-year unsuccessful
attempts to help his "illegally laid-off" wife return to her
job. He asked the Court to accept his lawsuit.

However he was soon pushed and shoved by three court
police officers who turned him away.

"Just go. You can`t be here," they told him.
His wife Hu Min was who had put in nine and half years
service was sacked on the ground she fell short by 10 years
stipulated period to sign a contract for permanent employment.

He resorted to protests even though courts upheld the
Thirty people lost job besides Min, Feng said.

"My wife deserves an open-ended contract with the court
according to the law. Government and judicial power should
never overweigh laws," he said.

While Judge Feng`s protest was extraordinary in China
where civic protests are virtually banned, equally significant
was that his story carried by the state run `China Daily`, an
English newspaper along with a photo of him staging the
protest in front of the court.

The judge`s action came as labour unrest demanding higher
wages and improved working conditions spread all over the

It started in March with a series of workers committing
suicide in Foxconn, China`s biggest foreign firm, followed by
sudden strike in Honda plants setting off a chain reaction
across China dealing a big blow to cheap labour concept that
brought in lot of foreign investment and propelled Chinese
exports all over the globe.

Yesterday, 60 guards and cleaners of SOHO, a reputed
construction company blocked the entrance of their main office
here demanding that the management pay their salaries.

Police who intervened dragged them out to clear the
"The police said we were acting illegally and they would
detain us if we refused to leave", one of the protestors was
quoted by yet another official daily, "Global Times" as


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