His Excellency Mr. Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Representatives of the 17th National Congress.
We are a group of grassroots civil rights activists, writers, scholars, reporters, lawyers and freelance writers. On the occasion of the opening of the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party , we would like to remind the Congress that the CCP as the sole ruling power in China, a great country, steeped in a 5000-year civilization and a quarter of the world's population, needs to have a broader view of maintaining its image, by matching its words with deeds to fulfill its own promises.
The Constitution of the People's Republic of China established by the CCP solemnly undertakes “to govern the state with laws and protect human rights.” The Constitution stipulates that people have freedom of speech, assembly, association, procession and demonstration, and enjoy the right to lodge complaints or bring charges against State bodies. During the bidding for the rights to host the Olympic Games, the CCP's leaders and authorities solemnly vowed “to return to the world a pleasant miracle.” To our understanding, a crackdown on freedom of speech or control of the press or a blockade of the Internet or imprisoning innocent people isn't a “pleasant miracle.”
In the last three years, under the leadership of the CCP, the Public Security and judicial bodies have detained and jailed a significant number of writers, reporters, lawyers and civil rights activists, for free expression and political activities, on charges such as “inciting to subvert state power,” “subverting state power,” “illegal business operations,” “using evil cult organizations,” and so on. Though a few of these detainees have been released, dozens of people such as Mr. Chen Guangcheng, Mr. Guo Feixiong, Mr. Shi Tao, Mr. Yang Tianshui, Mr. Li Yuanlong and Mr. Guo Qizheng are still languishing in prison. Zhejiang Province has been the worst province, recording the most cases against freedom of expression. In the past two years, dissidents who have been sentenced by the Zhejiang Authorities include freelance writer Mr. Li Hong (6 years), Mr. Chen Shuqing (4 years), Mr. Yan Zhengxue (3 years), Mr. Chi Jianwei (3 years), Mr. Zhu Yufu (2 years), Christian Mr. Sheng Zhuke (3 ½ years) and civil rights activist Ms. Li Lijuan (2 years).
On the occasion of the grandiose campaign launched by the CCP to celebrate the one-year countdown to the start of the Beijing Olympic Games, the Hangzhou Government of Zhejiang Province sentenced dissident writer, Mr. Chen Shuqing to 5 years in prison. Mr. Lu Gengsong, a dissident writer was charged on August 24, 2007 with “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal possession of state secrets.”
Mr. Lu was formerly a teacher of the Zhejiang Public Security (Police) College under the leadership of the CCP. In view of the tragic reality of the institutional corruption of the whole regime, the rampant human rights violations, the complete loss of social ethics and people living in the abyss of misery under the dictatorship of the CCP, Mr. Lu resolutely resigned from his police job and started a life of conscience, pursuing as an intellectual the belief of freedom and democracy. He has published numerous pieces of writing, which highlight the corrupt evil dictatorship and preach freedom and democracy. He has also advocated for ordinary people bullied by government officials and devoted himself to civil rights cases. He is therefore extremely despised by the Public Security and judicial bodies of Zhejiang Province and other related offices.
We have unanimously and conclusively agreed that Mr. Lu Gengsong is an excellent representative of Chinese intellectuals with beliefs and conscience. He has devoted himself to the freedom and democracy movement, and spoken for the rights of civilians and provided constructive proposals for the State and Nation. His actions have never been in conflict with the Constitution or the Law. The judicial bodies of Zhejiang Province have detained Mr. Lu on unjustifiable charges. It is a blatant act of trampling on the articles of protection of human rights in the Constitution. This action can only be shameful for the central authorities as it goes against their own promise of improving human rights. It is indeed a very shortsighted, weak and despicable act.
We are by no means a group of conspirators attempting to subvert the State power. We are believers in freedom and democracy, defenders of China's Constitution and we want the central authorities to fulfill their promise of improving human rights. We also share a common understanding regarding the conception of building a harmonious society as initiated by Mr. Hu Jintao, Leader of the CCP. In our view, if the CCP is truly working for the State and its people and committed to China's Constitution and its own promises, it should follow the trend of respecting universal human values, discarding totalitarian ideology and the “struggle” philosophy so as to transform itself into a modern party which respects human rights, law and order, democracy and freedom. This way, people wouldn't have to worry whether the CCP would be a healthy political power in a future society of freedom and democracy. This serves as our earnest request for a proposal to the 17th National Congress of the CCP.
Finally, for the purpose of maintaining the State's image, fulfilling the State's promise and demonstrating a brand new face of the CCP, we urge the CCP to instruct the judicial authorities of Zhejiang Province to release Mr. Lu Gengsong immediately and take this opportunity to conduct judicial appraisals of quite a few other political, religious and civil rights cases dealt with by the Zhejiang judicial bodies, including those regarding Mr. Zhu Yufu, Mr. Chen Shuqing, Mr. Li Hong, Mr. Yan Zhengxue, Mr. Chi Jianwei, Ms. Li Lijuan, Ms. Sheng Zhuke, as well as the cases in other provinces regarding Mr. Shi Tao, Mr. Li Yuanlong, Mr. Yang Tianshui and Mr. Guo Feixiong. The CCP should release them all as early as possible.
Hu Jia, Liu Di, Zhao Dagong, Hu Ping, and Wang Dan—From a list of 1109 co-signers