appeal for the release of Zhao Changqing
Zhao Changqing was given a 5-year prison sentence in July  for subverting state power by advocating democracy in his native China. Domenico Pacitti and JUST Response urgently invite Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, and Jiang Zemin, former President and now Head of the Central Military Commission, to release Zhao Changqing, comply with his demands and recognise the basic human right of freedom of expression for all who live in China
open letter to:-
good people of China
Request for: 1) the immediate release of Zhao Changqing; 2)
compliance with Zhao's demands; and 3) the recognition of the
basic human right of freedom of expression for all who live in
respectfully request your release of Zhao Changqing without
further delay, your compliance with Zhao's democratic demands and
the recognition of the basic human right of freedom of expression
for all who live in China.
36, a history teacher and activist in the 1989 Tiananmen Square
demonstrations, was arrested last November and charged with
"attempted subversion of state power". Zhao, who has
suffered from tuberculosis, had collected 192 signatures to
support his demands for China to observe basic human rights and
had sent the petition to the 16th Communist Party Congress.
was tried behind closed doors at the Xian People's Court on July
10 of this year. When news of the verdict eventually reached the
foreign press in early August, it was due to the commendable
efforts of the US-based group, Human Rights in China (HRIC).
demands call for:
re-assessment of the 1989 democracy movement;
re-admission of all political exiles to China;
restoration of former general secretary of the Chinese Communist
Party Zhao Ziyang's political rights and his release from house
release of all dissidents currently held in Chinese prisons;
ratification by the National People's Congress of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
conformity of Chinese domestic law to international treaties;
extension to national level of democratic elections in villages
has previously spent three terms in custody and three years in
prison. His essay, "Reform the political system and take the
path to democratisation", and his uncompromising stand in
defending fellow-workers against corruption and substandard
working conditions resulted in previous charges of
"endangering state security".
president Liu Qing said: "This trial was just another form of
intimidation through an unfair legal process. It is especially
objectionable that a trial over an open letter was held in secret
on the pretext of protecting state secrets."
Note: JUST Response published this appeal on September 4 2003.