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Judicial CP - March 1991

The Economist, London, 9 March 1991

"Justice" ... in communist China


The Ningxia Legal Daily reports that ten couples in the south-western province of Sichuan refused to abort pregnancies which, if brought to term, would have violated the government's one-child family policy. To make them see sense, the men were caned on their bare buttocks, one stroke for each day of the pregnancy, and one of the women was threatened with caning, until all the couples agreed to abortions. "A complete victory against the diehard elements," noted the Legal Daily with satisfaction.

Perhaps the Chinese should compare jurisprudential notes with an Islamic group in Pakistan's North-West Frontier province. It has decided that "Islamic" punishments are in order for criminals like the man to whom it publicly gave 100 lashes of an oil-soaked leather whip for raping a 14-year-old girl. The girl was given five lashes in private. It seems there were not the four witnesses needed to prove rape under this group's version of Islamic law, so the girl had to be punished for adultery.

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