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  • » 03/20/2009, 00.00


    Former Chinese spy: secret service trying to clamp down on rights activists

    The Chinese secret service is "monitoring" dissidents, religious groups, and anyone who protests against injustice, and is repressing human rights. According to the former spy, it is important for Western governments to talk with Beijing not only about the economy, but also about human rights. It is the first instance of "treason" by a Chinese spy.

    Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The former Chinese spy Li Fengzhi, who has been in exile for years, is denouncing efforts underway by the Chinese secret service to suppress any form of dissent among the Chinese population, even abroad, and is calling on Western politicians to ask Beijing to respect human rights. Until now, no Chinese spy had ever publicly revealed himself.

    Yesterday evening in Washington, a nervous Li said at a press conference that he worked for years for the Chinese state security ministry, but that he left this because his "work" was to spy on dissidents, spiritual groups, any citizen who protested over injustice, unemployment, poor farmers deprived of their land. He also resigned as a member of the Chinese Communist Party when the spiritual movement Falun Gong, which is persecuted by Beijing, asked all members to tear up their cards.

    Li said that "China's government not only uses lies and violence to suppress people seeking basic human rights, but also does all it can to hide the truth from the international community." This led to direct criticism of Western politicians, including Hillary Clinton, who in their relationship with Beijing focus only "on temporary economic and political benefits but keep silent on human rights issues."

    Li is convinced that, in spite of rapid economic growth, the Chinese government is not stable, precisely because of the widespread violation and suppression of human rights. He is convinced that the communist government will be overthrown by the exasperated Chinese themselves, but calls on Western governments to do their part by urging Beijing to respect fundamental personal rights.

    The former spy did not provide specific details about his work, which was conducted above all in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, fearing for the safety of his family, who live in China. He asked for political asylum, and clarified that only the central leaders know the full extent of the country's spy network. He insisted that extensive resources are being employed to monitor Chinese citizens and suppress their rights, even abroad.

    In 2005, Chen Yonglin, a diplomat in Sydney, asked for asylum and said there were more than a thousand Chinese agents in Australia, who even kidnap and repatriate Chinese citizens who have fled abroad for political reasons.

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    See also

    28/04/2009 CHINA
    Falun Gong members commemorate 10 years of persecution in China
    Public demonstrations in Asia and the world against the Chinese Communist Party. In 1999, the group had more than 70 million members in China, and conducted a protest demonstration. Since then, the group has been banned and its members punished with imprisonment and torture.

    17/02/2006 CHINA
    Gao Zhisheng, the lawyer "who defies the Communist Party"

    Five human rights activists have disappeared of late. Together with Gao Zhisheng, they are fighting to "restore human rights in China". AsiaNews introduces the man who makes Communist government leaders tremble with his open letters, his criticism of political and religious repression and his legal work in defence of the persecuted. His group has launched a hunger strike which has drawn many participants and enjoys widespread media coverage.

    01/04/2009 CHINA
    Party official issues urgent call for democratic reforms
    Within the Communist Party itself, a growing number of voices are calling for political reforms, less censorship, and room for dissent. They are applying pressure to the leaders, who want to talk only about the economy. The police "sequester" a signer of Charter 08 for hours.

    02/03/2006 CHINA
    Gao Zhisheng and his group, "the hope of post-Communist China"

    The lawyer and human rights activists gathered around him are the "conscience and future of China when the Communist Party collapses". The leadership "is afraid of them and therefore seeks to silence them."

    28/03/2017 17:33:00 CHINA
    Suzhou, 9 human rights activists detained in secret since September

    On 8 September 2016, the police seized the protesters outside of the people's court in Suzhou. Eight are under "residential surveillance at a designated place" (RSDL), while another has been formally arrested. Those arrested were protesting the conviction of Fan Mugen. Some of the detainees are accused of having sent "politically sensitive" online messages. In November, other police arrests. The UN Committee against Torture: "The extent to which RSDL is widely abused illicit and open to interpretation and application." Eleven countries have called for an end to the practice.

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