Chinese Citizens Raise Their Voices Against Repression of Petitioners’ Rights Lawyers

ChinaAid
August 11, 2010
Media Summary


BEIJING–
On Monday, August 9, ChinaAid learned that Hu Shigen, a rights defense activist and member of the newly founded Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association, was officially summoned at 3:00 pm by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Beijing Police, and summarily harassed and threatened by public security officers following the meeting. This incident coincides with a rising pattern of systematic persecutions against members of the Petitioners’ Rights Association, since its formation in June. Rights defenders Bai Dongping, Zhao Changqing, Yang Huiwen, Jiang Tianyong, and other declared members have faced similar warnings, summons for interrogations, and similar forms of suppression.

In response to the mounting persecution, the Chinese Citizens Rights Defense Alliance joined with four Chinese associations in issuing a statement on Tuesday, August 10, calling on the leadership of China to “stand on the side of the rights defense citizens of China and the legal professionals, ensure the powers of law enforcement and other types of public power are not abused,” and to “implement, respect and safeguard the Constitutional concepts of human rights.”
Read the full statement below in Chinese 中文 | English
“Obeying the Mandate of Heaven for Democracy in China and Promoting the Great Cause of Rule of Law throughout the Ages”
—A statement by Chinese Citizens Rights Defense Alliance and other organizations on the criminal investigation and summons on Mr. Yang Huiwen and Mr. Hu Shigen, petitioners and members of Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association
It is learned that Hu Shigen, a rights defense activist, was officially summoned by the criminal investigation police of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau for his involvement in activities of Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association. After that, the system of Domestic Security Protection Squad gave a stern warning to people who have recently participated in a series of rights defense activities. Before this, Bai Dongping, Zhao Changqing, Yang Huiwen, Jiang Tianyong and other members of the Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association have also been summoned, warned or suffered similar forms of suppression. We hereby express our deep regrets for the series of acts of suppression on the Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association by the Beijing police.

As we all know, the current rights protection system in China is clogged and there is no way the numerous petitioners can sue their perpetrators or voice their grievances. The vast land of China is now full of severe social ills that have reached an epidemic proportion. The land is permeated with acts of violence. At this difficult time, 10 legal professionals and citizens devoted to rights defense courageously founded the Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association of China, being moved by a heart of benevolence and righteousness. Their aim is to iron out the conflicts between the government officials and the common people and pull people out of the dilemma of the conflicts so as to make a contribution to the building of a harmonious society. Our hearts and minds are united on this goal. Our rulers who are supposed to work for the wellbeing of the people should repeatedly reflect on themselves and support and endorse this act of righteousness instead of suppressing it against the law of the divine and the people’s aspirations. Rule of law is the government’s political promise and a harmonious society is the embodiment of the values of benevolence and righteousness. In recent years, some government agencies ignore China’s “international image” and by summoning, detention and even arrests and conviction through the procedure of criminal investigation, they suppress the legal professionals and attorneys who try to defend the rights of the people. Instead of encouraging the legal professionals and citizens in safeguarding their citizens rights in accordance with the law, they disrupt these activities by starting the procedure of criminal investigation. This can only make more citizens feel that the government is ruthless and this is very harmful to the historical judgment and international image of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

Therefore, Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association of China and other organizations hereby strongly call on people to: At this time when social crises are deepening in full scale, when the people of the world are clearly aware of the new mandate of Heaven for democracy in China and when people throughout China are awakening to new changes, we hereby request the two enlightened statesmen of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, as initiators and defenders of the state’s policy of rule of country by law and the concept of a harmonious society, to answer the call of the mandate of Heaven for China, observe and experience the progressive tide of the world, stand on the side of the rights defense citizens of China and the legal professionals, make sure the police power and other types of public power are not abused, implement, respect and safeguard the Constitutional concepts of human rights and promote together with us the grand ongoing cause of democracy and rule of law in China!
Chinese Citizens Rights Defense Alliance
Chinese Christian House Church Alliance
Preparatory Committee of Chinese Rights Defense Lawyers Association
Association of Human Rights Attorneys for Chinese Christians
Petitioners’ Rights Defense Lawyers Association

ChinaAid stands in solidarity with the Chinese Citizens Rights Defense Alliance and other signatories of the public statement. We urge the leaders of China to guarantee the basic human rights of its citizens and uphold rule of law in order to build a more harmonious society in China.
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