Previous posts in this discussion:
PostYu Yingzeng and Peter Humphrey Case (Bienvenido Macario, USA, 08/10/14 4:29 am)
In response to Martin Packard (9 August), I don't think Chinese laws have anything to do with the couple's crime of "illegally obtaining private information," which was legal until it was changed in 2009. Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng were not aware of the change. To me it looks like nothing more than a set-up.
GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) got caught in Chinese politics with the Communist Party's sights trained on Mark Reilly, the Chief of GSK's operations. There seems to be a political battle within the Communist party, or else the whole party is trying to save face. The charge against GSK was "bribery and embezzlement." This must involve private citizens and party members.
When Mark Reilly hired the couple to investigate GSK employees, the police were publicly saying that Reilly is not detained and that he was assisting in the investigation, but he was not free to leave the country.
Peter Humphrey's biggest crime was helping Mark Reilly leave the country. Whatever the Communist party and police are saying, turn it around and it will make sense.
Mr. Humphrey and Ms. Yu are suffering from poor health.
"Both Mr Humphrey and his wife have told consular officials that they are suffering from a range of serious health problems. Mr Humphrey has not been allowed to have medication for his arthritis since January.
"'He saw his wife in a corridor on May 29,' said a family friend, citing the latest report from consular officials. 'She was only about 10 feet away, but she did not recognise him. He was very upset and felt she looked dazed and disorientated.'
"For their trial, scheduled on the afternoon of August 7, Mr Humphrey has asked for a neck brace 'because his head keeps falling to the left.' The request was denied.
"'Spine, hernia and prostate treatment have been withheld and he is in constant pain,' said the friend, citing the consular officials."http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10965300/China-charges-GSK-linked-British-investigator-and-wife-for-illegally-obtaining-private-information.html
In case Martin is wondering why GSK was selected by China's Communist Party for demolition considering that bribery and corruption are rampant in China, especially in the pharmaceutical industry where low-paid doctors succumb to bribes, speculations came up that GSK's former director of corporate affairs Betsy Li Heng's brothers Hu Deping and Hu Dehua were the ones who attracted the Communist Party's attention.
The brothers Hu have long been calling for political reforms. They really pushed it when they criticized President Xi. This issue probably came up during Pres. Xi's visit to the UK last March 22, 2014.
By going after GSK, the Communist Party is sending a warning to foreign corporations not to employ locals related to anti-government activists.
I would vigorously support the humane treatment of Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng while serving their respective sentences, as well as seek the application of the whole year's incarceration from July 10, 2013 to Aug. 8, 2014 to their sentence, if not partial probation.
JE comments: If the couple is credited with time served, they may be home within a year. Still, Chinese officials have sent a strong message to other foreigners who might want to come and clean house: stay away, or you're next. Isn't the fear of embarrassment a particularly important trait in Chinese culture?