Tag Archive | "china human rights abuses"

Flies in Beijing to be evicted from public toilets

Flies in Beijing to be evicted from public toilets

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By See Hor Sin

Authorities in Beijing have set a new standard for public toilets in their relentless crusade to eliminate the ‘pests’ from the urbanising city.

Named the “two fly rule“, the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment (BMCCAE) set a series of criteria to offer a better environment for public toilets in parks, tourist areas, subway and train stations, hospitals, shopping centres and supermarkets.

It said that that the regulations aimed to standardise toilet management at public places.

The rule also sets new standards on odour and cleaning litter bins. The ordinance covered “discarded items” saying there should be no more than two in any public toilet, and specified that each toilet must be easily accessible to the elderly and disabled.

The new standards also require signs in both Chinese and English to be installed in the toilets.

Under this rule, only two flies will be allowed to continue living in their homes. No deadline was set for the eviction, nor was there any formal procedure to select the privileged pair.

“This is an outrageous infringement of our civil liberties,” said FILTH (Federation of Illicit Living in Toilets Houseflies), a housefly rights group based in Beijing.

“We refuse to budge and we demand the government respects our key role in society as primary waste management personnel,” it said via a message on the wall.

Flies have been poorly regarded by mankind since the beginning of time and their presence in urbanised environments have been regarded as signs of infrastructural failure. Yet these insects break down waste more quickly than decomposition alone and are the main reason why most of China did not drown in its own sh*t before toilet upgrading become a priority.

Discrimination
Fly rights made the headlines last week when one buzzing critter set it on fire to protest against government discrimination. Rights groups such as FILTH have accused the government of supporting a roach invasion as various laws passed to increase the level of hygiene, have not involved the elimination of roaches.

“There are many pests in society, but what I find strange is the government’s relentless drive to exterminate flies, while leaving roaches and rats alone,” said Dr Dua Ga Chua, an insect specialist from the University of Peking.

A US government report on insect rights issues released recently revealed that four out of five flies felt ‘unsafe’ in the country. The report also accuses the Chinese government of not respecting the labour rights of flies and clamping down on protest movements. The Falungong-supported Epoch Times noted that the military had recently ramped up its purchases of insecticide.

In response, the Chinese government has hit back by issuing its own report on the US, saying that the US is “full of overly critical remarks on insect rights conditions in nearly 200 countries and regions, as well as distortions and accusations concerning fly rights causes in China [But] the United States has turned a blind eye to its own woeful insect rights situation and remained silent about it.”

It is not known why BusinessInsider picked a picture of toilets in Singapore to accompany a Beijing story