Repression against Charter 08 signatories grows
Charter 08, a document calling on the government of China to provide greater democracy and respect for human rights, has resulted in greater repression for its supporters. At least 39 signatories have been intimidated in different parts of the country. One was arrested for “inciting subversion of state power.”
12/16/08 China (AsiaNews) The crackdown on Charter 08 signatories continues, widening its scope. The document calls on the government to provide greater democracy and respect for human rights, including religious freedom. Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) has documented the cases of at least 39 signatories who have been intimidated in several parts of the mainland, some distant from one another.
Since 9 December the Charter is online and police has interrogated supporters in Beijing, Shanghai, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Shaanxi, Hubei and Hunan.
Since 8 December nothing is known about one of the Charter’s signatories, Liu Xiaobo, who was arrested on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.
Even if police threats are local initiatives higher authorities ought to stop them, he said. But if “there is a problem at the highest level, then it’s up to the people to do something about it. There should be a mechanism for correcting problems in a republic. A republic in which wrongs are just allowed to be wrong, and in which wrongs are piled upon wrongs is not worthy of being called a republic.”
“While I sit here quietly waiting for them to search my home, waiting to be detained and interrogated, I am also waiting quietly for a reply from the authorities” to the Charter and to criticism.
In 1998 China signed the United Nations Convention on Civil Rights, which includes freedom of expression, a right also guaranteed under China’s constitution (article 35).
The list of the persecuted is long: Du Yilong, Zhang Jiangkang, Yang Hai and Zhao Changqing in Shaanxi; Liu Yiming in Hubei; Huang Dachuan in Liaoning; Zhang Zuhua, Pu Zhiqiang, Jiang Qisheng, Gao Yu, Liu Di and Teng Biao in Beijing; Zheng Enchong and Jiang Danwen in Shanghai; Qin Geng in Hainan and Fan Yanqiong in Fujian; Ye Du, Zhao Da gong, Guo Yongfeng, Tang Jinling, Ye Huo, Zhang Jinjun, Li Tie and Chen Shaoua in Guangdog; Wu Baojian, Zou Wei, Wang Xue’e, Gao Haibing, Zhuang Daohe, Mao Qingxiang, and Liu Jincheng in Zhejiang; and many more according to CHRD, which believes the list to be incomplete.
Many people are either under surveillance or house arrest.
There are fears that repression might get worse during the holidays when international observers and media are less present.