We can’t afford to keep quiet when we see Governments try to repress anyone who says things it would rather prefer unsaid.
China’s leaders are running a crackdown on corruption, but refuse to tolerate grassroots groups with similar aims. Three activists including Liu Ping (pictured above) were detained after taking photographs with banners urging officials to disclose their assets.
They were put on trial in a high-security court in Xinyu, Jiangxi province, late last year. At the time, defence lawyers complained of serious procedural
problems and said they were not confident of the outcome.
Wei Zhongping and Liu Ping, associated with the New Citizens Movement were given six-and-a-half years in jail. A third activist, Li Sihua, received a shorter sentence.
They were accused of “using evil religion to sabotage law enforcement” and “picking fights and provoking trouble”. The charges against the trio stem from a photo circulated via the Internet last year, which showed the three activists holding a banner calling on government officials to disclose their assets as a way of combating corruption.
These charges were obviously cooked up and many human rights groups have condemned them. Rights group, Amnesty International said the charges were
“It isn’t fair, it isn’t just,” Si Weijiang, Liu’s lawyer told the Reuters news agency. “The laws can just be bent however (the government) wants in
Chinese leader Xi Jinping launched an anti-corruption drive when he took over in 2012. But he has also overseen the broadest crackdown on grassroots activism that China has seen in recent years.
Several activists in the New Citizens’ Movement, which calls for more democracy and government transparency, have been detained.
In July last year, prominent lawyer Xu Zhiyong, one of the founders of the movement, was detained on suspicion of having “gathered crowds to disrupt public order”. He was eventually jailed for four years in January.
If the Chinese Government is really serious about fighting corruption, why antagonize and punish groups who pursue a similar objective. The conviction of these three anti-corruption activists also shows that the Chinese government has little regard for Human rights. There charges against them, first of all, doesn’t really make sense. Also, the defence lawyers accuse the Government of ‘tampering with the procedure.’
How can any Government punish its citizens for advocating transparency in Government? This doesn’t at all make sense and the Chinese Government should immediately release these activists. and all others who have been convicted unfairly.
THEY ARE ACTIVISTS NOT CRIMINALS!!! RELEASE THEM!!!