采访/李韵 编辑/黄亿美 后制/郭敬
Harsh Crackdown on Calls for Assets Declaration of Officials
China’s rights activists have been the subject of
a crackdown by the authorities for openly calling for declarations of public officials’ assets.
So far, at least 10 activists have been arrested, one has been
charged with “inciting subversion of state power”.
The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) new leader Xi Jinping
has openly vowed to fight corruption in any form.
However, when citizens requested of CCP officials that they
declare their assets, they were repressed by the authorities.
Reportedly, at least 10 activists in China have been arrested
for calling for assets declarations by public officials.
Five activists from Jiangxi province have been
detained in police custody.
Before that, they had held placards in public
to support the assets declaration
and to assist the arrested activists
in Beijing and Guangdong.
Liu Ping, one of the five, was detained in April
charged with “inciting subversion of state power”,
her lawyer has told Agence France-Presse.
The real reason for her arrest hasn’t been given as yet.
On March 31 in Beijing’s Xidan Square,
four citizens held a banner saying:
“Public Officials Are Asked To Declare Their Assets.”
Beijing police authority detained them
on charges of “unlawful assembly”.
(Ex-lecturer, People’s Public Security University of China)
Zhao Yuanming: “The charge of subversion of state power
should contain a clear definition.
The criminal act should be demonstrably connected to
national security, posing a safety threat for the country.
People charged with this crime may be
figures like Bo Xilai.
Bo was a senior official and local governor,
and even controlled certain armed forces.
People with such status may have a real motive to
commit a crime against the state.”
Zhao Yuanming says that, unarmed citizens holding
banners along the roadside are only trying to express their appeal to the authorities.
It has nothing to do with national security.
The authorities have just trumped up the charges.
Zhao Yuanming: “They just called for an
assets declaration by public officials.
The request is an official regulation in many countries.
This is especially so for those senior officials,
who are quite rightly obliged to declare their assets
in order to prove that they haven’t used power
to reap personal gains.”
Weiquanwang.org (Rights Defense Web in China) has
openly protested against the CCP’s repression.
It has called on the authorities to immediately stop
the crackdown on citizens who defend civil rights.
It has demanded the unconditional release of all
detained citizens who have called for asset declaration.
Wang Cheng, lawyer in Hangzhou, has appealed
on a micro-blog, to set up a legal group to assist “five gentlemen” in Jiangxi province.
The five citizens have been arrested for openly
calling for a declaration of officials’ assets.
Up until now, 18 lawyers across China have announced
their participation in this appeal for justice.
Wang Cheng: “Basically we think that the direct cause of
their arrest was that they held placards in public,
demanding that officials declare their assets.
I think their act was lawful, which shows that
they are righteous, and in fact, excellent citizens.
But they are now being wrongfully treated
as if they had broken the law.
As a lawyer myself, I think that lawyers in China
should stand up and defend them.”
Wang Cheng has told the Voice of America that
Sina Weibo censors had quickly cancelled his account
because he had sent the legal-backing message.
The Weibo account of Zhang Xuezhong, a member
of a legal backing group, was also shut down.
Zhang Xuezhong, a Shanghai lawyer,
also defended Liu Ping, the detained activist.
Zhang Jian, US-branch president of
China Democratic Party, comments.
When anyone tries to shock the CCP’s rotten foundation,
it always uses state apparatus to slap them down, he says.
Zhang Jian: “The Chinese dream is the dream of
Chinese officials, and bureaucrat capitalists.
It has never been the dream of
ordinary Chinese folks.
In China, citizens are charged with subverting
state power, simply for holding a placard,
simply for calling upon government officials
to fulfill their promises.
This is surely enough to prove that those who still
pin hopes on the CCP and reform must wake up now.”
AFP has reported that the issue of senior CCP officials’
corruption has long been in public focus.
Activists in China have kept on calling for
assets declarations of CCP officials.
The report indicates that the CCP’s new leader Xi Jinping
has promised to combat corruption in any form.
However, when raising voices and calling for
transparency on the issue of the assets of officials,
Chinese citizens were still
put down by the authorities.