聲明：中美人權對話必須堅守普世人權價值，要求釋放政治良心犯 US-China Human Rights Dialogue Should Uphold Universal Human Rights Values, Demand Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience
US-China Human Rights Dialogue Should Uphold Universal Human Rights Values,
Demand Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience
The US-China Human Rights Dialogue is being held today and tomorrow (13 and 14 May 2010) in Washington D.C., the United States. It’s the first such dialogue between China and the United States since May 2008. We believe that the foundation of a genuinely sincere human rights dialogue should be established on upholding universal human rights values, respecting freedom of speech, implementing the rule of law principles and releasing all prisoners of conscience.
We particularly selected the information about 20 imprisoned writers, lawyers and political prisoners to invite the US representatives to raise these concerns when they hold the human rights dialogue with the Chinese representatives. We call on the Chinese government to immediately release the prisoners of conscience who are in urgent health conditions or grant them release on medical parole.
Writers and public intellectuals are the pioneers of social and political reforms. However, they always become prisoners in China after expressing their views and writing articles. Beijing writer Dr. Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned for 11 years after he took part in drafting the “Charter 08”, which called for political reforms and democracy; Hunan journalist Shi Tao was imprisoned for 10 years simply because he sent out a document about the Chinese government’s concerns about overseas Chinese dissidents returning to China during the 15th anniversary of the “June 4 incident” with his Yahoo! email account; Nanjing writer Yang Tianshui was jailed for 12 years for writing articles on the Internet to criticize the Chinese government and founding a political party; Zhejiang writer Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong) was imprisoned for six years after he wrote more than 100 articles on the Internet to criticize the government; Hubei internet writer Du Daobin was given a suspended sentence (three years’ imprisonment, suspended for four years) after he wrote 26 articles calling for freedom of speech but the suspended sentence was suddenly cancelled shortly before the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Lawyers and legal workers could use their professional knowledge to help the underprivileged and resolve social conflicts. However, many lawyers in China lost their licenses or were suspended from practice, while some human rights lawyers even ended up in prison. Beijing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has long-term persecution after he released open letters to demand that the Chinese government should stop persecuting Falun Gong practitioners and he has disappeared again after he briefly reappeared in late March 2010 after disappearing for more than one year; Shanghai lawyer Zheng Enchong became a target of revenge by local officials after he assisted displaced residents and he has been under house arrest for a long period of time after he was released from prison; Shandong blind “barefoot lawyer” Chen Guangcheng was jailed for four years and three months as he was targeted for revenge after he exposed local officials’ violent birth control policy; Guangdong legal rights defender Guo Feixiong (aka Yang Moudong) was also targeted for revenge and imprisoned for five years after he assisted villagers in Taishi Village in Panyu, Guangdong province, in exposing the irregularities of local village elections.
In addition, there are numerous human rights defenders who are selflessly committed to fight for the rights of the grassroots and the democracy activists who have been fearlessly promoting democracy for a long time. Countless of them have been subjected to various persecutions. Huang Qi and Tan Zuoren who provided assistance to the parents of Sichuan earthquake victims and conducted investigation into the “beancurd construction” problem (substandard buildings) were sentenced to three years’ and five years’ imprisonment respectively. Zhao Lianhai, who was the father of a toxic milk powder victim and provided assistance to other affected parents and petitioners, was accused of provoking social disorder; Beijing activist Hu Jia was jailed for three years and six months after he wrote articles and received interviews with overseas media to criticize China’s human rights problems; Zhou Yongjun, a former student leader of the 1989 pro-democracy movement, was unreasonably taken back to the mainland public security by Hong Kong immigration officers and was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for an offence without any concrete and justifiable evidence; Guo Quan, a professor of the Nanjing Normal University, was given a 10-year imprisonment after he wrote articles criticizing the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian one-party rule.
These cases of human rights violations and harassments of dissidents are only the tip of the iceberg. We earnestly call on the US representatives to clearly present the information about these prisoners of conscience to the representatives of the Chinese government during the human rights dialogue. They should also demand that the Chinese government should implement international human rights standards and release these people as soon as possible. Last but not least, we solemnly demand that the Chinese government should treat all prisoners of conscience in a humanitarian manner and that it should respect life and human rights.
Support Group for Prisoners of Conscience in China, http://pocsupport.wordpress.com
Independent Chinese PEN Centre, www.chinesepen.org
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, www.chrlcg-hk.org