Monday, May 13, 2013

"We the People" and International Justice

I have posted on the interesting ideas put forth by Americans (and others) on the White House "We the People" website previously, but recent developments are worth noting particularly as they involve a crime committed in another country.

As a bit of background, way back in December 1994, Chinese student Zhu Ling was poisoned by an unknown assailant and suffered from loss of hair, the ability to speak and facial paralysis among other symptoms.  Today, she remains blinded, neurologically damaged and bedridden by the attack and requires constant and expensive care that is beyond the ability of her parents to provide.  The poison used was thallium, a toxic heavy metal that is often used in rat poison in China.  While the perpetrator was never caught, suspicions that Ms. Zhu was poisoned by her college room mate, Sun Wei, who, although she had access to thallium, was questioned by police and released without charges due to a "lack of evidence".  Coincidentally, or not, Ms. Sun's grandfather was the nation's Vice President of the Democratic Revolutionary Council and it has been suggested that this is why the  investigation was dropped.  Since that time, Ms. Sun has married and has reportedly emigrated to the United States.

Here is a photograph of Zhu Ling from before the attack from the Help Zhu Ling Fund website:

Now, you might ask, what does a nearly 20 year old attempted murder case in China have to do with the We the People website?  Since Ms. Zhu's name was at least temporarily blocked by authorities on the Chinese Weibo social website, recently, attention on the subject by Chinese parties interested in the matter shifted to the White House website in an attempt to get the investigation reopened one way or another.  Here is the petition that requests that the United States government deport Jasmine Sun:

Keep in mind that, in order for the Obama Administration to review a petition, it must receive 100,000 signatures within a one month timeframe.  This petition was created on May 3 and, thus far, has received over 145,000 signatures in just over a week, a very substantial response.

Of the current most recent 20 petitions on the website, ten have a China-slant with this one being the most entertaining of the bunch:

Now that Chinese web surfers have noted the ready availability of the We the People website  to promote their agendas, here is another China-linked petition that makes this request:

Here's another one along the same line:

Yet another China-linked petition makes this suggestion:

Of the current most recent 20 petitions on the website, ten have a China-slant with this one being the most entertaining of the bunch:

Back to the Zhu Ling case and the White House petition.  Now that the petition to deport Ms. Sun has surpassed the key 100,000 signature level, the current administration in Washington will have to issue a response.  It will be interesting to see what response they give, particularly since the issue has been receiving international attention once again.  On the other hand, I suspect that the other China-based petitions will never receive the necessary signatures that are required to get a formal response, unless there is a strong undercurrent of society that really likes sweet tofu.

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