Beijing (AsiaNews) - One of the most prominent among human rights activists, Xu Zhiyong, was arrested yesterday by Beijing police for "trying to gather crowds and disturbing public order." Xu had been held under house arrest for two months. Xu's lawyer and colleague Teng Biao, rejects the charges against his client. Human Rights in China reports that Xu's arrest was an attempt to truncate the campaign he had launched demanding public disclosure of the assets of Party and government members.
Xu Yong, 40 (see photo), a law
lecturer at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, has long been
engaged in the defense of human rights of the Chinese population, insisting
that the government respect the constitution. For
months he has been engaged in the Gongmeng movement, calling on the leadership
to publish their assests and those of their family members.
The request to render public property owned by the party cadres was made years ago by the same Hu Jintao. It was also discussed in the National People's Assembly in March. But since then, the President Xi Jinping has put to rest any debate.
According to many activists, the assets
disclosure could reveal the true level of corruption among Party members, who
use their position in the hierarchy for personal gain.
In recent months, foreign media reports on the wealth accumulated by former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, the former governor of Chongqing Bo Xilai, and the same Xi Jinping has caused quite a stir.
Teng Biao revealed that at least
10 other peoe linked to the Gongmeng movement were arrested in Beijing and
many more in other provinces. Like
Xu, they all are accused of disturbing public order, "with the aim of
subverting state power".
In a blog posted on the Internet on May 2012, Xu said that China "needs a new movement of citizens" to give birth to a "free, democratic China governed by the law." Last April, he was taken off a flight to Hong Kong and was put under house arrest until yesterday. He is currently being detained at n. 3 prison in Beijing.