10/23/2008

[Reprint]Sakharov Prize 2008 awarded to China's Hu Jia



In this picture taken 27 June 2007, outspoken Chinese AIDS and pro-democracy activist Hu Jia wearing the July 1 protest t'shirt in front of the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, to show his support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and legislators. Photo from Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images

Sakharov Prize 2008 awarded to Hu Jia

Human rights - 23-10-2008 - 11:19

The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded this year to Chinese political activist Hu Jia, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced in Strasbourg today. The prize ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on 17 December.

The decision of Parliament's political group leaders to award the prize to Hu Jia was communicated to the plenary by Mr Pöttering, who said: "By awarding the Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia the European Parliament firmly and resolutely acknowledges the daily struggle for freedom of all Chinese human rights defenders."

Hu Jia is a prominent human rights activist and dissident in the People's Republic of China. He has embraced a wide range of causes, including environmental issues, HIV/AIDS advocacy and a call for an official enquiry into the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He has also acted as a coordinator of the 'barefoot lawyers movement'.

Having already been arrested several times, he spoke to MEPs in November 2007 from house arrest via conference call during a public meeting of the EP Human Rights Subcommittee on human rights in China in the run-up to the Olympic Games. As a result he was charged by the authorities with "inciting subversion of state power" and sentenced on 3 April 2008 to three-and-a-half years in jail.

Protests against his arrest have come from all over the world. The European Parliament passed a resolution in January 2008 demanding his release. On 8 August 2008 and 6 September 2008, Hu Jia's name appeared alongside other signatories on open letters calling for more attention to be paid to human rights in China.

20th anniversary of Sakharov Prize

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named in honour of the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been awarded by the European Parliament every year since 1988 to individuals or organisations who have made an important contribution to the fight for human rights or democracy. To mark the 20th anniversary, a special event to which all previous winners of the prize are being invited will be held in Strasbourg on Tuesday 16 December.

This year's prize certificate will be awarded in Strasbourg the next day, Wednesday 17 December. In addition to the title, the winner receives the sum of €50,000.

Previous winners of the prize

1988 Nelson Mandela and Anatoli Marchenko (posthumously)
1989 Alexander Dubcek
1990 Aung San Suu Kyi
1991 Adem Demaçi
1992 Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo
1993 Oslobodjenje
1994 Taslima Nasreen
1995 Leyla Zana
1996 Wei Jingsheng
1997 Salima Ghezali
1998 Ibrahim Rugova
1999 Xanana Gusmão
2000 ¡Basta Ya!
2001 Izzat Ghazzawi, Nurit Peled-Elhanan and Dom Zacarias Kamwenho
2002 Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
2003 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and all the UN staff
2004 Belarusian Association of Journalists
2005 Ladies in White, Hauwa Ibrahim, Reporters without Frontiers
2006 Alexander Milinkevich
2007 Salih Mahmoud Mohamed Osman

Further information

Text of the Parliament's resolution of 17 January 2008 calling for Hu Jia's release
Press release on hearing at the Human Rights Subcommittee 26 November 2007
Sakharov Prize web site
Rules of the Sakharov Prize


AP: China's Hu wins EU rights prize


外交部发言人秦刚就欧洲议会授予Hu Jia "Sakharov Prize" 答记者问

2008/10/23

问:10月23日,欧洲议会宣布授予Hu Jia “Sakharov Prize”。中方对此有何评论?

答:Hu Jia系因犯有煽动颠覆国家政权罪被中国司法机关依法判处徒刑的犯罪分子。欧洲议会某些人打着“维护Human rights”的旗号,授予其“Sakharov Prize”,完全是颠倒是非,充分暴露了他们粗暴干涉中国内部事务和侵犯中国司法主权的政治图谋。我们对此表示强烈不满和坚决反对。事实已经证明,并将继续证明,他们的行径绝不能改变中国社会进步和发展的事实,也蒙蔽不了欧洲各国人民。

昨夜西风凋碧树,今日秋色醉怡人(组图)

















昨晚七八点钟,突然狂风大作,继而大雨倾盆。在疾风劲雨的夹击下,枯黄的树叶就挂不住了,像散了架一样哗啦啦跌落下来,刹那间叶落无数。那阵子我刚好在外面,被淋得半透。

深夜,雨消停了,但狂风一直呼啸。

气象部门说,这是“今年入秋以来最强冷空气。”今明两天,北京地区气温将下降6℃至8℃。而前几天都是“暖秋”,最高温度均在21℃以上,较常年同期偏高了3℃。

今天是二十四节气中的霜降。可惜不早起就看不到白露为霜的景象。

叶落知秋。昨天还枝繁叶茂,今晨已凋零殆尽。树中叶落谁最多,院中枣树赤条条。

一夜风雨除了让气温骤降,最大的功劳就是把持续了几天的阴霾一扫而光。今天虽然风大点儿,但天高云淡,天色靛蓝透亮,空气清新,极目千里,典型的秋高气爽天。尽管入秋这么久了,但今天感受到秋天滋味最明显。登高望远,心旷神怡。

今天可能是奥运结束后北京空气质量最好的一天。今天北京市环保局发布的空气污染指数是43,空气质量是1级良;昨天的污染指数还是111,是3级轻微污染;前天更可怕,污染指数竟然高达134。环保局预报明天的污染指数是35-55。只要风还持续地刮,空气质量就没大问题。

不光牛皮靠吹,北京的空气污染也得靠吹。车辆限行,工厂、工地关闭等控制污染的措施,都不如大风吹的效果明显。

与昨天(22日)和前天(21日)的天色做个对比。



这张照片摄于22日下午13:13,当天空气污染指数是111。



这张照片摄于21日下午13:03,当天空气污染指数是134。

山西长治拾煤人 - 路透社图辑



People search for usable coal at a cinder dump site on a hazy day in Changzhi, Shanxi province October 7, 2008. Reuters



A man searches for usable coal at a cinder dump site on a hazy day in Changzhi, Shanxi province October 7, 2008. Reuters



A man searches for usable coal at a cinder dump site on a hazy day in Changzhi, Shanxi province October 7, 2008. Reuters



A labourer transports usable coal at a cinder dump site on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province, October 17, 2008. China imported 3.7 million tonnes of coal in September, down 2 percent from the previous month, as demand for imported coal weakened. Reuters



A labourer walks amid dust while collecting usable coal at a cinder dump site on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province, October 17, 2008. Reuters



Labourers search for usable coal at a cinder dump site on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province, October 17, 2008. Reuters



People search for usable coal at a cinder dump site in Changzhi, Shanxi province September 12, 2008. Reuters



A man searches for usable coal at a cinder dump site in Changzhi, Shanxi province September 12, 2008. Reuters



A miner works at a workshop of a coal mine in Changzhi, Shanxi province September 17, 2008. Reuters



A miner eats his lunch at a coal mine in Changzhi, Shanxi province September 17, 2008. Local governments can raise heating prices to cover the rising cost of coal, China's top economic planner said, in a rare loosening of controls over energy pricing as the nation heads into winter. Reuters

[转载]于建嵘:警惕强制农民进行土地流转



A farmer collects corns in a container to sell them in a market at his courtyard on the outskirts of Changzhi, Shanxi province October 21, 2008. Reuters

2008年10月23日

■《南方都市报》中国观察之于建嵘专栏

最近一个时期,农村土地流转问题成为了中国社会的焦点问题。这主要在于,9月30日中共中央总书记胡锦涛在安徽小岗村考察时提出,在赋予农民更加充分而有保障的土地承包经营权的同时,要根据农民的意愿,允许农民以多种形式流转土地承包经营权,发展适度规模经营。在此后不久召开的十七届三中全会所作出的《关于推进农村改革发展若干重大问题的决定》更加明确提出了“要加强土地承包经营权流转管理和服务,建立健全土地承包经营权流转市场”这一目标。因此有些媒体和研究人员据此得出了“中国土地承包经营权有望大范围加速流转”的结论。实际上,土地流转在当今中国并不是什么新东西,早就是农民的法定权利。比如 2003年实施的《中华人民共和国农村土地承包法》第32条就明确规定:“通过家庭承包取得的土地承包经营权可以依法采取转包、出租、互换、转让或者其他方式流转。”而在实践层面,土地流转也一直在进行。这次领导人的讲话和中央的有关文件只不过重申了这条法律规定。

从本质上来说,土地流转是农民实现自己经济利益的一种形式。这种利益是农民依据土地承包法享有的土地承包经营权。我国农村土地是集体所有制,家庭承包经营制在本质上就是一种集体土地经营制度。它是在承认农村土地集体所有的基础上,将土地的经营权和收益权以承包的方式赋予农民;农民家庭作为独立的生产经营单位,在国家计划与政策允许的范围内,有权按照自己的特长和优势独立自主安排生产经营活动;生产收益除完成年初确定上交给国家和集体的任务外,都归自己所有。也就是说,土地承包经营权是作为农民的利益而存在的,是一种受法律保护的利益,农民可以通过经营土地实现这种利益,也可以通过流转来实现这种利益。


但是,由于意识形态的制约,农民的这种利益并不是作为财产权而存在的,国家不允许农民把土地经营承包权用作抵押,国家的有关法律对农民实施这些权益作出了许多限制。比如《土地承包法》第26条就规定,“承包期内,承包方全家迁入设区的市,转为非农业户口的,应当将承包的耕地和草地交回发包方。承包方不交回的,发包方可以收回承包的耕地和草地。”这些规定的存在,极大地影响了农民利益的实现,在一定程度上,影响到土地适度规模经营,也限制了农民进城的步伐。正因为如此,十七届三中全会才提出要毫不动摇地坚持家庭承包经营为基础、统分结合的双层经营体制;赋予农民更加充分而有保障的承包经营权,在保持现有土地承包关系长久不变的基础上,并通过建立健全农村土地承包经营权流转市场,引导农民以转包、转让、股份合作等形式流转土地承包经营权,发展多种形式的适度规模经营。从这种意义上来说,进一步明确农民土地流转是农民的法定权利,是对土地作为农民财产权的一种宣示和保护。

如果从法律的角度来看,所谓权利是法律对公民或法人能够作出或不作出一定行为,并要求他人相应作出或不作出一定行为的许可。就土地流转作为农民的权利而言,它要求农民可以流转自己承包的土地经营权也可以不流转,任何妨碍农民土地流转的行为都是对农民法定权利的侵犯。这就要求我们在进行农村土地流转时一定要坚持依法、自愿和有偿的原则。根据我国现行法律规定,土地承包经营权流转应当遵循以下原则:其一,平等协商、自愿、有偿,任何组织和个人不得强迫或者阻碍承包方进行土地承包经营权流转;其二,不得改变土地所有权的性质和土地的农业用途;其三,流转的期限不得超过承包期的剩余期限;其四,受让方须有农业经营能力;其五,在同等条件下,本集体经济组织成员享有优先权。应该说,这些原则基本上体现了土地流转各方的利益,这是必须坚持的。这其中坚持农民自愿有偿的原则特别重要。农民自愿进行流转是合法的基本条件。在目前的情况下,要特别警惕强制农民进行土地流转的行为。国家应从权利保护的高度,有明确的权利救济手段,确保流转符合农民的意愿,要坚决制止有些地方官员为了所谓的政绩或为了与不良商人勾结获利而假借土地流转之名,骗取农民的土地。面对日益强大的掠夺,农民有对那些侵害自己利益的土地流转说“不”的权利,而保护农民的这些权利则是国家的责任。

(作者系中国社科院农村所社会问题研究中心主任)