Monday, August 20, 2012
According to the official indictment, Liu Xiaobo committed the following acts:
- He published a number of “inciting articles” containing “rumors and slanders” (no slanders against any persons living or dead are mentioned in the indictment).
- Together with others, he "drafted and concocted" Charter 08.
- He distributed Charter 08 via e-mail to overseas websites and posted it on overseas websites.
Here's a profile of Qincheng (秦城) Prison, where high-ranking prisoners stay and where the cognoscenti figure Gu Kailai will go (assuming she's not spirited off to a nice tropical island somewhere).
Monday, July 30, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Here's a link to the video (one hour) and the transcript. It's a little bit unfortunate that we can't hear or read the original Chinese version of what Chen said, but I have seen (or more accurately, heard) the interpreter, June Mei, at work on many occasions and she's the best, so it's very unlikely that she missed anything.
Monday, May 21, 2012
I posted a few days ago about this, linking to a Chinese account and apologizing for not having the time to supply a translation. Two commenters kindly noted the existence of partial translations, but I don't want to keep this information buried in the comments. Here are the two partial translations:
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Here's an account (in Chinese - sorry, no time to translate) from iSun Affairs magazine (a web-based journal) of how Chen Guangcheng escaped from Dongshigu Village. As we might have guessed, he had help from various people but also had to rely on himself quite a bit. The account is quite detailed and names names. Apparently the editors decided to include these details because the authorities had already figured out the people involved.
Here's a video interview with Chen's brother, Chen Guangfu, about what happened to him afterwards.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
It is a sign of the absurd and cruel vendetta that the Chinese government has carried out against Gao Zhisheng (高智晟) that his being seen alive should be headline news. After all, he has been in the custody, acknowledged or not, of that same government more or less constantly since February 2009. He was last seen alive by family members in April 2010.
His wife now reports that his father father-in-law and brother were able to visit him in prison on March 24. His brother has confirmed the meeting. Here's the Radio Free Asia report.
[March 30 correction indicated above.]
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Fresh from its triumph over the dark forces of Hollywood in their attempt to topple the state by shaking the hand of a blind man, the people's democratic dictatorship has now set its sights, once again, on Ni Yulan, already crippled by earlier police beatings. Apparently she and her husband have been "picking quarrels" and "disturbing public order", both criminal offenses. The New York Times story is here. Apparently the leaders have not been reading books about how China is destined to take over the world. They seem extraordinarily unconfident and fearful.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Chinese prison authorities have apparently notified Gao Zhisheng's brother that he is being held in a prison in Xinjiang. Here's the report from China Aid Association (I added the link about the alleged probation violation):
China Aid Association
(Washington, D.C. – Jan. 1, 2012) For the first time since his most recent forced disappearance 20 months ago, the whereabouts of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng were confirmed on Sunday.
ChinaAid learned that Gao Zhisheng’s older brother, Gao Zhiyi, received written notification on Sunday of Gao’s incarceration in Shaya Prison in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in far western China. The notification was signed and dated on Dec. 19 by the prison.
Gao disappeared into police custody in April 2010, the most recent in a series of forced disappearances since his 2006 conviction on a subversion charge. On Dec. 16, just days before his five-year probation period was to have ended, the Chinese government announced that it was sending him to prison for three years for violating his probation. It was the first word that he was still alive, but no information of his whereabouts or condition was released.
Shaya (Xayar) Prison is located in Aksu Prefecture, about 1,130 kilometers (700 miles) southwest of the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi.
"Gao's internal exile reminds the world of how former Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov was cruelly treated in Siberia in the 1980s," said ChinaAid founder and president Bob Fu, a friend of Gao. “The Chinese government can use this remote jail to prevent concerned people from visiting Attorney Gao, but just like Sakharov, Gao's courageous voice can never be silenced by the four walls of his prison cell."
Gao Zhiyi is planning to visit Gao Zhisheng as soon as he gets a physical address of the prison.
The prison’s mailing address is : Shaya Prison, Shaya county, Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Postal code: 842208
Prison phone number: +86-997-8402100.
Gao Zhiyi’s phone number: +86-151-9198-5726
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I was shocked and very saddened to hear of Prof. Larry Ribstein's sudden death (apparently from a stroke) on Dec. 24th. In addition to teaching Chinese law, I also teach business associations, and so was familiar with Larry's name and fame before actually meeting him when we were both visiting professors at NYU Law School in 2007-08. You can get a sense of Larry's personality by reading his voluminous writings and blog posts - his style is crystal clear and highly readable, his ideas original and important. But I needed to meet him in person to get a full sense of the man and to realize what a cool guy he was.
As I read others' remembrances, one term keeps cropping up that is one of the first things I noticed, too: intellectually honest. Larry was not afraid to follow his ideas where they led him, but never mischaracterized opposing ideas in order to refute them more easily. He had very strong ideas (in addition to deep learning) on many subjects, but I can think of few people with whom it was more fun to discuss things.
Larry's scholarly productivity is the stuff of legend - lots of it, on a wide range of topics, and all of it top-notch. I once asked him how he managed to do it. His answer: "I don't need a lot of sleep."
So broad is Larry's impact that it even reaches the field of Chinese law. He had been to China and was consulted on the drafting of (what else?) China's Partnership Law.
It is truly sad that such a terrific scholar and colleague has been lost to us.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Qiao Mu (乔木), an associate professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University and the director of its Center for International Communications Studies, recently ran (maybe "attempted to run" would be more accurate) as an independent candidate for the Haidian district people's congress. This is the only level of people's congress where candidates are directly elected; delegates to higher-level congresses are selected by lower-level congresses. And this is of course all done under the guidance of the Party. The election was on Nov. 8th. Here's his account:
As an independent candidate, I did not win the election, but got the second largest votes (1300 ballots) after one month campaign with my voluntary supporters, which shaped democracy in my university-community and brought many positive changes in the campus management and people’s mind.
I had NO intention to challenge the ruling party and the political system in the grassroots election. What I cared was the voter’s (faculty and students) opinion, livelihood and rights. However, I encountered increasingly enormous pressure and oppression from the very beginning. My voluntary students were forced to quit the campaign. Many organized spreading rumors and political lies in SMS to defame my personality, motives and actions (mostly on social media), i.e., my campaign was a conspiracy and sponsored by the west media, and I was manipulated by the US embassy, and I will leave the university it is useless to vote for me.
I was shocked to find, in the last week before the vote day, all my social media ( weibo/micro-blog on sina.com, blog, renren and my election video on tudou/56 were closed.) I tried to register new one many times on sina.com and renren.com, but all were closed for a short while. Things went beyond my imagination. All my mobiles and phones were monitored. I was followed by two securities in the campus and two secret agents outside. Many students and faculty members involved were forced verbally to quit me. Some students were required to identify my supporter on CCTV, some parents were asked to come to Beijing to persuade the students to stop.
The Big Brother was watching us.
We did nothing wrong. All we did was in the track of China’s constitution and election law. But I was told there were policy and regulation, which were more important and measurable.
On the vote day of Nov 8, there were numerous banners and flags in the campus, which said to carry on socialist democracy and enhance the rule of law, and to vote gloriously. Many securities and secret agents walked around. People outside of the campus were not allowed to entered for three days.
I was not among the two officially nominated candidates. My name was not in the ballot. However, the voter could write down my name if they voted for me. I got 1296 votes among 8035 turn-outs, the second largest winner, much more than an official candidate. The No.1, a vice presidents of my university, passed the half line only with 117 more votes. If no those 117 votes, the election would be a runoff. He and I, the first two, will be voted another day. In that case, my name will be written on the ballot. Who knows the result?
Farewell to my 10 weibo (Microblogs on sina.com), 4 blogs with 100 articles, and 1 paid Renren ID with twenty thousand followers, most of them were my university (vote zone) contacts.
My social media can be closed, but I will neve close my mouth and my writing will never stop.
Qiao Mu (Michael)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
... is apparently blind activist and barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng, judging from the extraordinary level of security thrown up around his home to prevent him from having any communications with the outside world. None of this has any known legal justification, by the way. Here's a report from China Human Rights Defenders (Chinese here). Think of how much all this must cost!
Attempts to visit the lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚) in Shandong Province have often been thwarted by the constant, stifling presence of guards blockading Dongshigu Village, where Chen lives under illegal house arrest (see reports below). The intensive operation is fortified by surveillance cameras and monitoring points set up at four village entrances and around Chen’s home. As groups of Chinese activists continue their “Operation Free Chen Guangcheng” by making repeated visits to Dongshigu Village, CHRD has released an aerial photo that charts the locations of village entrances and monitoring posts while describing these in detail.
The village’s widest concrete road—at three meters across—runs along its eastern edge and intersects China National Highway 205, which connects the provinces of Hebei and Guangdong. A small bridge lies in the middle of this road, and after crossing the bridge and turning right, Chen’s home is the first one on the north side, and is surrounded at all times by seven or eight guards.
The highway entrance near Chen’s home is guarded by 20 individuals who work in two shifts, scrutinizing each vehicle and person entering the village. At another location are two small structures that function as the guards’ work stations, with a pair of vehicles parked nearby. Thugs use one of them in case they need to chase after visitors, and the other is stationed next to a small bridge. Seven to eight individuals, also working in two shifts, man these vehicles.
Another concrete road entrance faces a neighboring village, Yazi Village, to the southeast of Dongshigu, and is located about 600 meters down the highway. A monitoring point in this area is set up about 100 meters after crossing a bridge, and guards—close to 20 people divided into two groups—reportedly stay hidden behind a pile of firewood and are able to see anyone crossing over the bridge, which leads to a trail into Dongshigu. On one side of the trail is a row of bungalows where tobacco is grown, and guards keep three vicious dogs on the other side.
A third entrance—a drainage area beneath a highway—lies along the village’s southwest edge, and is a path so narrow and rugged that it can only be undertaken on foot. There are six or seven guards stationed at this entrance, which is also equipped with a monitoring camera. Northwest of the village, there is a fourth passage off a small bridge to neighboring Xishigu Village. There are two monitoring points, one at the entrance of Xishigu Village and another after crossing a bridge and turning to the left, with close 20 guards.
In sum, there are two surveillance points in front and behind Chen’s home, and six other points set up at various locations on the four narrow roads that enter Dongshigu Village. There are a total of six surveillance cameras in the village. Two mobile phone jammers are set up at the homes of Chen’s neighbors to the west and east.
Reportedly, almost 100 hired thugs keep Chen under surveillance, and all are recruited from outside the village. They are divided into two large squads and 12 smaller groups, and maintain radio communication with each other while working around the clock. And like many extensive operations, monitoring Chen and the entire village is also wealth-generating. Given two daily meals, each person pockets 100 RMB a day—far more lucrative pay than the average villager (even the village party secretary earns just 3,000 RMB in salary per year). The guards are led by Gao Xingjian (高兴见), who comes from a nearby village. Gao was appointed as head of the guards after fighting off past visitors on many occasions, and has supposedly amassed a good deal of wealth from filling that role.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Pretty strong stuff. Available in English and Chinese at the China Media Project web site here. He has some good rhetorical touches. Among other things, he notes the irony that the judge in Li Zhuang's first trial, who excused all seven prosecution witnesses (all of whom were in custody) from appearing and being cross-examined because they "were unwilling" (grounds that have no basis in the Criminal Procedure Law), had written his master's thesis in law school on the necessity of witnesses appearing in court.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Here's an interesting account of an attempt by Chen Yunfei, a Chengdu-based rights activist, to visit Chen Guangcheng, the blind rights activist who is supposedly out of jail and a free man. Pretty brave, considering that the most recent person to try to visit Chen, He Peirong, seems to have disappeared (same source). Thanks to blogger Siweiluozi for the translation.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I am sorry to report that Professor CAI Dingjian (蔡定剑教授), Director of the Institute for Study on Constitutionalism at China University of Political Science and Law, passed away early in the morning of November 22nd. Prof. Cai was a widely respected figure both among his colleagues in China and among the foreign community of Chinese law scholars. He was also a very fine human being.
There's a web site dedicated to his life and work here: http://www.chinaelections.org/specialtopic/SpecialTopicc.aspx?sortid=1278
Below is an obituary from the South China Morning Post, and below that, a remembrance from a friend published in 新京报.
Well-respected reformist, rights advocate dies
Nov 23, 2010
China lost a heavyweight fighter for legal and political reform yesterday when constitutional law professor Cai Dingjian died at the age of 54.
A gentle but firm advocate of "constitutional democracy", Cai's death stirred an outpouring of condolences from lawyers, academics, students and rights groups.
He had been battling cancer for nearly two years, during which time he continued to write and speak out passionately on a range of legal and rights issues.
Cai switched to academia in 2004 after years of serving the government and was one of the few reformists to command respect both within and outside the government.
A soldier with the People's Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution, he joined the China University of Political Science and Law in 1979, where he began his legal studies. He continued working in the politics department upon graduation, but switched in 1986 to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the country's highest legislative body, where he stayed for the next 17 years. He was vice-bureau-chief of the NPC Standing Committee secretariat when he left at the end of 2003.
Saying he wanted more freedom to do research, Cai returned to the university and taught administrative law. He also advocated constitutional democracy - striving to realise democracy through implementing the constitution and strengthening the law. He was director of the university's Institute for Study on Constitutionalism while also serving as a dedicated member of the Centre for People's Congress and Foreign Legislative Study at Peking University.
A model scholar, he pursued his goals through "a combination of field experience and academic rigour", many of his contemporaries said.
He wrote more than 200 research papers and often made comments in the media, with emphasis on the election and People's Congress systems, raising governance and state budget transparency, and, more recently, fighting discrimination.
Even when he worked for the NPC, he advanced rational arguments on why and how democracy should be realised in China. In 2003 he published a research paper arguing against the contention that electoral democracy would not work because most of the citizens were not educated enough.
Many believe that paper landed him in trouble and prompted his move into academia. His last book, Democracy is a Modern Lifestyle, was published in January.
Online postings and rights advocates mourned his passing. "We have lost an inspiring teacher, a respected scholar in law, a good friend for the civil community, and a public intellectual who fights for the rights of the less privileged in Chinese society," the Yirenping Centre, an anti-discrimination legal aid group, said.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
The following letter has been issued by the signatories in support of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. English and French versions follow the Chinese version.
唯色 （ 西藏，作家）
丘延亮 (台北，副研究员 中央研究院民族学研究所)
萨冲 （意大利， 工程师）
郭小林（北京 ， 诗人）
On Liu Xiaobo and the Nobel Peace Prize
The awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese citizen, has drawn strong reactions both inside and outside China. This is a major event in modern Chinese history. It offers the prospect of a significant new advance for Chinese society in its peaceful transition toward democracy and constitutional government. In a spirit of responsibility toward China’s history and the promise in its future, we the undersigned wish to make these points:
1. The decision of the Nobel Committee to award this year’s prize to Liu Xiaobo is in full conformity with the principles of the prize and the criteria for its bestowal. In today’s world, peace is closely connected with human rights. Deprivation and devastation of life happens not only on battlefields in wars between nations; it also happens within single nations when tyrannical governments employ violence and abuse law. The praise that we have seen from around the world for the decision to award this year’s prize to a representative of China’s human rights movement shows what a wise and timely decision it was.
2. Liu Xiaobo is a splendid choice for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has consistently advocated non-violence in his quest to protect human rights and has confronted social injustice by arguing from reason. He has persevered in pursuing the goals of democracy and constitutional government and has set aside anger even toward those who persecute him. These virtues put his qualifications for the prize beyond doubt, and his actions and convictions can, in addition, serve as models for others in how to resolve political and social conflict.
3. In the days since the announcement of his prize, leaders in many nations, regions, and major world organizations have called upon the Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo. We agree. At the same time we call upon the authorities to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience who are in detention for reasons such as their speech, their political views, or their religious beliefs. We ask that legal procedures aimed at freeing Liu Xiaobo be undertaken without delay, and that Liu and his wife be permitted to travel to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.
4. Upon hearing the news of Liu Xiaobo’s prize, citizens at several locations in China gathered at restaurants to share their excitement over food and wine and to hold discussions, display banners, and distribute notices. Normal and healthy as these activities were, they met with harassment and repression from police. Some of the participants were interrogated, threatened, and escorted home; others were detained; still others, including Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia, have been placed under house arrest and held incommunicado. We call upon the police to cease these illegal actions forthwith and to immediately release the people who have been illegally detained.
5. We call upon the Chinese authorities to approach Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize with realism and reason. They should take note of the responses to the prize inside and outside China and see in these responses the currents in world thinking as well as the underlying preferences of our fellow citizens. China should join the mainstream of civilized humanity by embracing universal values. Such is the only route to becoming a “great nation” that is capable of playing a positive and responsible role on the world stage. We are convinced that any signs of improvement or goodwill from the government and its leaders will be met with understanding and support from the Chinese people and will be effective in moving Chinese society in a peaceful direction.
6. We call upon the Chinese authorities to make good on their oft-repeated promise to reform the political system. In a recent series of speeches, Premier Wen Jiabao has intimated a strong desire to promote political reform. We are ready to engage actively in such an effort. We expect our government to uphold the constitution of The People’s Republic of China as well as the Charter of the United Nations and other international agreements to which it has subscribed. This will require it to guarantee the rights of Chinese citizens as they work to bring about peaceful transition toward a society that will be, in fact and not just in name, a democracy and a nation of laws.
Communiqué sur l’attribution du Prix Nobel de la paix à Liu Xiaobo
Le citoyen chinois Liu Xiaobo a obtenu le prix Nobel de la paix 2010. Cette nouvelle a eu un impact extraordinaire tant en Chine qu’à l’étranger. C’est un événement historique pour la Chine contemporaine, une nouvelle occasion pour elle d’effectuer une transition pacifique vers un gouvernement constitutionnel. Dans un esprit de responsabilité devant l’histoire, et devant le destin futur de la Chine, nous publions le communiqué suivant :
1)L’attribution par le comité Nobel du prix Nobel de la paix à Liu Xiaobo correspond aux objectifs et aux critères d’attribution de ce prix. Dans la société contemporaine, la paix est inséparable des droits de l’Homme, la privation de la vie et son piétinement ne se produisent pas seulement sur les champs de bataille, mais sont également causés par la mise en oeuvre de mauvaises lois et d’une politique de violence.Le concert de louange de la part de l’opinion internationale montre que l’attriution du Prix à une personnalité représentative du mouvement chinois des droits de l’homme est une décision correcte et opportune.。
2) Le choix de Liu Xiaobo pour ce prix est particulièrement juste, car il n’a cessé de défendre les droits de l’homme de manière non-violente, et a toujours adopté une position raisonnable dans sa résistance aux injustices sociales ; il a montré une grande ténacité dans son combat pour obtenir la mise en oeuvre d’un régime constitutionnel,et malgré les persécutions, il est dépourvu de toute haine, ce qui fait de lui un candidat idéal pour le Prix. Les idées et la pratique de Liu Xiaobo constitutent pour les Chinois de mode de résolution des conflits
3) Dès qu’il a obtenu le Prix, les gouvernements de tous les pays, les dirigeants de toutes les régions et de toutes sortes d’organisations n’ont cessé d’exiger des autorités chinoises qu’elles libèrent LXB, ;nous adoptons la même attitude. En même temps, nous appelons les autorités à libérer tous les prisonniers de conscience et les prisonniers politiques enfermé pour des raisons d’idéologie,d’expression ou de foi religieuse.Nous appelons à prendre au plus vite toutes les mesures pour que LXB regagne sa liberté, qu’il soit réuni à son épouse Liu Xia, et qu’il puisse se rendre en personne à Oslo recevoir le prix.
4) En apprenant la nouvelle, dans toute la Chine, des citoyens ravis ont organisé des banquets, des réunions, ont porté des banderolles, distribué des tracts pour célébrer ou discuter l’événement ; ces actions sont tout à fait légales et raisonnables. Mais les policiers ont ont réprimé ces activités, des citoyens ont été gardés à vue, interrogés, menacés, renvoyés dans leur lieu d’origine, voire détenus, placés en résidence surveillée, privés leur liberté d’action, privés de leur droit de communiquer avec l’extérieur, comme l’épouse de LXB Liu Xia. Nous exigeons que la police mette immédiatement un terme à ces actes illégaux et libère immédiatement les citoyens détenus.
5) Nous appelons les autorités chinoises à adopter une attitude raisonnable face à l’attribution du Prix à LXB, et en observant les réactions chaleureuses en chine et à l’étranger, à se mettre en accord avec le courant mondial ; la Chine doit entrer dans le courant principal des valeurs universelles et de la civilisation de l’humanité, et établir l’image d’un grand pays positiv et responsable. Nous sommes convaincus que toute amélioration et toute bonne intention du gouvernement chinois sera accueillie par la compréhension et le soutien de tous, et poussera la société chinoise dans une direction pacifique.
6) Nous appelons les autorités chinoises à tenir leur promesse de réforme du système politique. Le premier ministre Wen Jiabao, dans un ensemble de discours, a récemment manifesté son profond désir de faire avancer la réfome politique, et nous sommes prêts à participer à ce processus. Nous souhaitons que dans le cadre de la Constitution de la République populaire de Chine, de la Charte des Nations Unies qu’il reconnaît, et des traités internationaux qu’il a signés,le gouvernement puisse garantir réellement tous les droits des citoyens, qu’il mette en oeuvre une transition sociale pacifique afin de faire de la Chine un pays démocratique, doté d’un Etat de droit digne de ce nom.