Made public on 9 December of last year, Charter 08 has been signed by 7,000 people so far and this despite censorship by the authorities and the persecution of some its most prominent signatories (pictured Liu Xiaobo, arrested after signing).
Eminent professors from Peking University’s Law School like Prof He Weifang and Zhu Suren, the brother of the Dean of Peking University Law School Zhu Suli, have signed the charter.
In response to the charter university authorities issued a notice on 16 January, which was eventually translated and put online on the ChinaDigitalTimes website. In it students are told to “firmly resist and stay away from these actions,” i.e. signing Charter 08, and “not blindly conform and follow the actions of the crowd”. It also orders them “not to distribute harmful information through various news media or other communication channels.” Instead, it asks them to “immediately report to the party organization” anyone who does so.
The notice attacks the charter as “anti-party” and “anti-socialism” but does not explain in what way.