New year begins with arrests of Charter 08 signers
Well-known Beijing writer Liu Di was put under house arrest ahead of new year celebrations for her involvement with Charter 08, the document that calls on China to expand democracy and human rights.
1/30/09 China (AsiaNews) Ahead of the new year celebration, Liu Di has been put under house arrest and Zhao Dagong may not return home. Both are signers of Charter 08.
Liu, a well-known Beijing writer, has told her friends that shortly before the new year, the police “told me they were putting me under house arrest, and they threatened to detain me in a cell.” She was previously arrested in November of 2002 for publishing satirical articles on the internet, about how the government and the communist party do not protect freedom of expression.
The author signed Charter 08, a document signed by thousands of Chinese intellectuals and citizens, calling upon Beijing to provide more democracy and respect for human rights.
But Bao Tong, a former communist party leader who has been under house arrest for years, has called for confidence in a telephone interview, because “the rights that [Charter 08] asserts are as fundamental to existence as wearing clothes, or as food and drink, or as breathing. This is a very good opportunity for the whole country to unite and solve the problems that its people are facing. Chinese society is full of conflicts and clashes right now, and Charter 08 would be a way to alleviate that pressure.”