China: Defiling the Image

Four Chinese peasants in Kweiyang Commune 18 miles north of Hong Kong were condemned to a total of 50 years of "labor reform" last week for showing disrespect for Chairman Mao Tsetung. In fact, a three-year-old boy, some roosting hens and a clutch of cockroaches were responsible for three of the crimes. No matter, the men were convicted, and their sentences were announced by the commune chairman, a senior army officer. One 30-year-old farmer drew ten years of "labor reform," which means hard labor, for permitting his three-year-old son to tear up a picture of the Chairman; another farmer got...

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