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  • » 02/27/2013, 00.00

    CHINA

    Open Letter: China must ratify human rights in line with UN Charter



    Intellectuals, lawyers, journalists, activists demand respect of individual rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and association. This letter is published a few days ahead of the National People's Congress, which concludes the transition of power from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping. In 2008, for writing Charter 08, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

    Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Intellectuals, journalists, activists have made public an open letter asking the new leadership to implement political reforms and ratify the UN Conventions on Civil and Political Rights.

    Among the petitions' signatories, about 100 in all, are the economist Mao Yushi, jurist He Weifang, the journalist and writer Dai Qing. The letter was published on various websites and blogs, its release comes a few days before the start of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, which meets every year in early March.

    During the NPC, Xi Jinping, who was elected Secretary of the Communist Party of China will also become president instead of Hu Jintao, Li Keqiang will officially become prime minister, instead of Wen Jiabao.

    The open letter calls for the NPC to ratify the UN International Convention for Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in 1998 but never ratified, nor included in its legislative body. The Convention requires respect for individual human rights, including freedom of religion, speech and association.

    Last December, an open letter from a smaller group of intellectuals did not have any effect.

    This latest appeal is a final attempt to push the new leadership to take the path of reform. Since November, when he became Party secretary, Xi Jinping has continued to send mixed messages: on the one hand he is proclaiming an era of reform and to fight against corruption and on the other he is reaffirming the power monopoly of the Party, the real cause of corruption and of human rights violations.

    The petitioners have not revealed who drafted the letter for fear that the person would be jailed. In 2008, at least 300 intellectuals and ordinary people published the Charter 08 document, which also called for the respect of human rights. Its author, the intellectual Liu Xiaobo (pictured), was arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

    The document Charter 08 was then taken down from all websites. Even this latest open letter, disappeared from most web pages a few hours after its publication.

     

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    See also

    05/03/2009 CHINA
    Bao Tong: Absolute power of the Party will suffocate the people and the economy
    A message from the leading pro-democracy dissident to the delegates of the National People’s Congress, which met today. The economic stimulus passed by the government needs oversight in order to avoid corruption, the impoverishment of migrant workers, pollution, and waste of resources. It is time to put limits on the absolute power of the Party, and to reevaluate the Tiananmen movement, wiped out by the violent massacre in 1989.

    06/04/2009 CHINA
    Eight Chinese groups write to the government demanding respect for rights and democracy
    Groups urge the authorities to avoid repeating errors of the past, say they are willing to fight till death. Police summons some of their members for interrogation.

    02/03/2006 CHINA
    Hundreds of activists arrested in lead-up to National People's Congress

    More than 400 people who wanted to submit petitions were taken away during the night. Dissidents and human rights activists are arrested to ensure the session of the National People's Congress unfolds peacefully.



    29/10/2007 CHINA
    Tiananmen leader dies, he had asked for democracy ahead of the Olympic Games
    Bao Zunxin, leader of the anti corruption pro democracy movement of Tiananmen Square and famous Chinese dissident, died yesterday evening at the end of a long illness. Condemned to five years in prison for his fight for democracy, he carried on in his quest urging the government to respect the Chinese people’s human rights.

    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."





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