"The suspects are construction workers, arrested after staging a protest over unpaid wages in the city of Langzhong in Sichuan province last August. Heads bowed, they listened impassively as a court official read from their case dockets.
"The charge: obstructing official business. The verdict: guilty. The sentence: six to eight months in jail.
"Wednesday’s spectacle, described as a public sentencing rally, was meant to cow and educate. The masses instead responded with righteous fury.
"Many Chinese recoiled from the humiliation of pitiable migrant workers in a much-reviled and largely disused judicial practice. Legal experts, journalists and laymen alike launched into caustic criticism of the Langzhong court, calling its rally barbaric and an egregious violation of due process."
Says the Financial Times.