Activists Call on Communist Regime to Correct Mistakes
A joint letter addressed to the Communist parliament meetings
was issued by activists, including lawyers defending New
Citizen Movement activists, Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi, and
people concerned about the case.
In the letter, they demanded the regime abide by the law and
correct the mistakes in the verdicts of the New Citizen
On March 2, a joint open letter to the 12th National People’s
Congress regarding the New Citizen Movement case entitled,
“Please hold on to the bottom line of law,”
was issued by dozens of Chinese citizens.
It stated: We are the defense attorneys of Chinese citizens
including Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing…and
people from academia, industry, and the media,
who care about the New Citizen Movement case.
We strongly urge the entire congress to face the fact that the
constitutional rights of Chinese citizens have been brutally
suppressed and domestic freedom of expression unlawfully
restricted, and to demand the relevant departments to correct
mistakes in maintaining the rule of law in China and securing
the implementation of constitution and laws.
The letter concluded that the New Citizens Movement Case is
a typical case in China where people are indicted for words.
The verdict of Xu Zhiyong’s case is a charge out of nothing.
Attorney Cheng Hai indicates that the New Citizen Movement
itself in fact does not constitute a crime.
The movement was initiated to demand public disclosure of
official property and fair education.
Attorney Cheng Hai: “Our Constitution and the Education Act
provide that we have freedom of demonstration, and the
right to express views and ideas to the authorities.
Their behavior does not constitute a crime."
Late last year, in the first instance of the New Citizen
Movement case, defendant Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four
years in prison on crimes of gathering crowds to disturb
Beijing authorities claimed that Mr. Xu manipulated social
issues to organize multiple displays of banners at bustling
governmental and commercial areas.
Cheng Hai: “It is a taboo to some people, who would elevate it
to the level of criminal law.
In fact, what they have attacked and damaged is the Constitution,
the laws, and the political rights of citizens.
The open letter was written to draw the attention of the congress."
Cheng Hai says the purpose of the letter is for the People’s
Congress to supervise Beijing’s public prosecutor to correct
the verdict and punish those who intentionally made the mistakes.
Law Professor, Zhang Zanning, Nanjing Southeast University,
indicates that the authorities have trampled its own constitution
and law, and violated the citizens’ rights to express opinion in
Zhang Zanning, Law Professor, Nanjing Southeast University:
“Xu Zhiyong’s sentence is a great shame to the judiciary system.
It expresses the fact that justice is walking backwards and the
legal system is just an empty word.
The fact that Communist law is obviously deceitful is fully
exposed to the world."
The open letter also pointed out that the verdict found Xu
Zhiyong guilty of gathering crowds to disturb public order,
based on the five activities organized.
However, two of them were conducted after the Minister of
Education Yuan Guiren publicly declared the policy
of allowing local education rights to migrant workers’ children.
During the two activities, the police did not deal with any of
the parents, and Xu Zhiyong did not make it to the scene.
However, the authorities convicted Xu Zhiyong six months later.
The open letter stated that the crackdown on freedom of speech
has caused their concern about the rule of law in China.
It also addressed that three other activities were organized and
conducted to promote the official property declaration
previously introduced by National People’s Congress for the
purpose of anti-corruption.
Zhang Qingfang, Xu Zhiyong’s defense attorney:
“We hope that Congress will perhaps initiate a proposal to
correct the case verdict.
As the representatives of the people, they should be the
guardian of law to ensure respect for the Constitution and
the implementation of law and order."
However, attorney Zhang Qingfang also expresses that he does
not hold much hope towards the Congress.
As recently as 10 years ago, Chinese scholars pointed out
that the National People’s Congress and the Political Consultative
Conference are merely rubber stamps of the Chinese
They are not the policy making body,
nor do they represent the people.
Interview & Edit/Liyun Post-Production/Chengjianmin