A journalist was sentenced to laojiao labour camp and a teacher suffered disciplinary action for exposing malpractices committed by the local leader in charge of education, in the Xuecheng district in Zaozhuang city in the northeastern province of Shandong.
A senior high school teacher, Sun Qi-sheng, wanted to expose the abuse of power of the director of the local Xuecheng district education committee, Zhong Fazhen. Zhong allegedly placed nearly 50 of his family members and relatives, most of whom were illiterate or semi-illiterate, onto the staff of local schools during 1997-98. Sun approached a local journalist, Lao He; and Lao agreed to write an expose letter to the local authorities.
As a result of their action, Lao and Sun suffered grave victimization. Soon after their whistle-blowing letter was sent, Lao was detained by the local Public Security Bureau for 15 days in December, 1998 and then sentenced by the local Labour through-re-education (Laojiao) committee to three years term in the labour camp for committing libel against Zhong. Sun was fired from his job and faced with serious disciplinary warning inside the Communist Party.
Both Lao and Sun appealed against their sentences and eventually won their appeal four months later. Their penalties were lifted. A report on this case was carried in Legal Daily on 18 January, 2002; which pointed out that to date Zhong remained free from investigation for his malpractices.
(Source: China's news agencies)