Chen Yuhua is taking on the Chinese govenment.
This dog owner is furious that his Internet posting about dogs has been banned by China’s web censors. His posting was an attack on the Beijing municipal government’s regulations prohibiting any dog over 14 inches high and limiting each family to only one dog. He wrote that these limits were unreasonable and are enforced arbitrarily.
The posting had been put on Chinapet.com, a website that Chen and other dog owners who are trying to loosen official restrictions on their pets created.
After his post was banned, Chen wrote to the mayor of Beijing and to the city council. But he did not receive a response. He then consulted a lawyer and filed a lawsuit. The suit is a challenge to the legal authority of the Communist Party to decide what people in China can say and read on their computers.
As far as it is known, Chen’s filing is only the second time that a Chinese citizen has legally fought against party censorship. The first time was in August 2006 when a lawyer filed suit after his blog denouncing corruption was taken down.
After Chen filed his lawsuit, the district court, after referring to higher-level judges for advice, decided to reject his case.
“They said, ‘You know what things are like in China,’ ” Chen stated. “They said I should understand, since I was a former government official. They said this is a sensitive matter. But for me, that is not sufficient.”
Chen said he has been fighting for the right to own a dog of his choice since 2003. During 2003, two policemen came to his house and said he could not keep his two-foot-tall dog because of his height. His dog mated with another dog, and they produced a second large dog that is over the 14-inches-height limit. Chen has kept the dogs illegally, but he keeps a low profile and he said local police have not enforced the height limit on his dogs.
The next step for Chen is an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Source: Washington Post