The 10,000 pigeons released in a ceremony yesterday for
The symbols of peace were released at sunrise in
A similar report appeared in the Beijing News, and the People’s Daily tweeted about it in English: “10,000 pigeons go through anal security check for suspicious objects Tue, ready to be released on National Day on Wed.”
The reports — which did not say what the suspicious materials might be — drew funny and scornful responses from some mainlanders, and many news sites, including the Beijing News website, later deleted the reports. However, the Jinghua Times report and the People’s Daily tweet were still visible as of midday yesterday.
Mainlanders responded with sarcasm because they see in the pigeon body searches their own plight in what they consider an oppressive society with tight surveillance, censorship and judicial injustice, independent columnist Zhang Ping said in an editorial that was circulated on social media under his pen name, Changping.
“The liberty and dignity of citizens are increasingly vulnerable, and can be expropriated at any time, like with the pigeons,” Zhang wrote. “They have to go through the pains and insults of the rude anal check and yet they must appear peaceful and happy on the screen of the state broadcaster.”
The notched-up security measures reflect inicreased concern about violence following a string of attacks blamed on separatist militants from the ethnic Uygur Muslim minority, as well as bus explosions and random slashing attacks attributed to disgruntled individuals.