No protests in China

The Washington Post reports:

Two elderly women were sentenced to a year of labor re-education after they applied for permits to demonstrate during the Olympics against their 2001 eviction from their homes, according to the son of one of the would-be protesters.

Wu Dianyuan, 79, and Wang Xiuying, 77, went to Chinese police five times between Aug. 5 and Aug. 18 to seek approval to protest. . .

They will not have to go to a re-education camp — at least for now — the order stated. But their movement will be restricted and they are likely to face other requirements. If they violate any provisions of the order or other regulations, however, they could be sent to a labor camp. . .

In response to international pressure, China said it would allow protests in three parks during the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Games. However, no one has been granted permission yet. The police have received 77 applications with 74 of them withdrawn voluntarily and the other three rejected, according to the state news agency Xinhua. . .

Wang Wei, China’s top Olympics official, has characterized the fact that there are no protests as a good thing. “I’m glad to hear that over 70 protest issues have been solved through consultation, dialogue. This is a part of Chinese culture,” Wang said at a news briefing Wednesday.

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