Charter 08’s Liu Xiaobo held in Undisclosed Location in Violation of China’s Laws
Charter ’08, a document that demands that China respect human rights protected under United Nations conventions that were signed by the country, has resulted in the detainment of over 300 supporters. One of the first supporters to sign the document, Liu Xiaobo, is still being held in an undisclosed location where he is apparently under “residential surveillance.”
1/2/09 China (AsiaNews) Liu Xiaobo, an intellectual who was among the first to sign Charter 08, is still being held in an undisclosed location subject to “residential surveillance” in violation of China’s own laws.
Detained on 8 December, when he and 300 other intellectuals, academics and activists released to the public an appeal in which, without challenging the power of the Communist Party, they demand respect for all the human rights protected under United Nations conventions signed by China.
Still the National Security police is holding Liu under “residential surveillance” in an unknown location and has not informed either Liu or his wife of the crime for which the Charter 08 signatory is being held, or the duration of his arrest.
“Residential surveillance” (jinshi juzhu in Chinese) is a form of pre-trial detention. According to Article 57 of China’s Criminal Procedural Law, a suspect is held either in his or her home or at a designated location if the suspect has no permanent residence. Since Liu is a Beijing resident, holding him in an undisclosed location violates Chinese law.
The Chinese government is desperately trying to stop Charter 08 from circulating, removing it from Internet sites and arresting anyone who signs it. But the number of people joining it in order to see China transformed into a country that defends human rights is increasing every day. So far at least 5,000 people have signed up.