Sun, May 15, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Chongqing prisoners may get out early with ‘red’ activities

AFP, BEIJING

Prisoners in the Chinese megacity of Chongqing could see their sentences cut if they take part in “red” cultural activities, as part of an ongoing drive to promote communist revolutionary ideals.

Authorities in Chongqing have ordered that re-education of prisoners be carried out with the help of singing and reading activities based on “red” culture, the state Chongqing Daily said on Friday.

“The situation where prisoners attend red cultural activities must become an important basis for encouragement, a reduced sentence or parole,” Liu Guanglei (劉光磊), a top official at the municipal committee, was quoted as saying.

Liu pointed to the “educational” qualities of “red” culture — songs to the glory of Communism or revolutionary poetry — to help detainees become law-abiding people who would be “useful to society,” the report said.

The initiative is the latest “red” move in Chongqing, a huge and fast-growing municipality of more than 30 million people run by party chief Bo Xilai (薄熙來), who has pledged to reinvigorate the city with the ideals of Mao Zedong (毛澤東).

City authorities have ordered state radio and television to promote the mass study of “red songs” that sing the praises of the Chinese Communist Party.

The state-run Chongqing Satellite Television also set aside popular television shows in January in favor of programs extolling communist ideals, in a bid to restore “fading red morals.”

The party chief’s “red” push comes after Chongqing’s image was sullied in 2009 by a police crackdown that exposed a thriving criminal underworld acting with impunity.

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