A new human rights report from a group in China is sounding an alarm about intensifying repression of dissidents in China. Several Chinese law professors added to the condemnation of the Chinese regime’s ongoing crackdown in criticizing the sentencing of legal scholar and activist Xu Zhiyong.
“In today’s China, we are living … under a stability maintenance system, which imposes harsh controls on any form of criticism of the government,” said Liu Feiyue, in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Liu is the author of “Annual Report on Stability Maintenance and Human Rights in China, 2013” released Monday by the Hubei Province-based Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (CRLW).
Liu said that the Chinese Communist Party’s “stability maintenance” system had expanded in the past year to completely encompass all areas of public life.
Liu warned that the trend toward more repression would continue under the current stability maintenance system. “If anything, the authorities are gradually getting harsher and more frenzied,” he said.
Statistics seem to bear out Liu’s claim, according to Shen Liangqing, a dissident from Anhui Province, who said that under the new Communist Party leadership the number of activists and Internet bloggers detained has sharply increased.
“They detained a large number of people last year. … I saw one statistic that said they had detained 120–130 people,” Shen told RFA.
“That’s already more dissidents than were detained during the entire administration of Hu [Jintao] and Wen [Jiabao],” he continued, and added that there is growing opposition to the CCP’s heavy-handed tactics.
Risking reprisals from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), five Chinese law professors have criticized the regime’s harsh treatment of lawyer Xu Zhihong who, with several other dissenters, was sentenced last week on a stability maintenance charge of “gathering crowds to disrupt public order,” reported University World News on Jan. 30.
Xu co-founded the grass-roots New Citizens’ Movement, which called upon CCP officials to reveal their net worth.
The law professors, all from prestigious Chinese universities, published a joint legal opinion online stating Xu was innocent. The opinion argued that his actions should have been treated as a citizen’s “active participation in national politics.”
The professors contended that the court’s indictment was not relevant to the causes that Xu had been backing, adding that they also supported those causes.
Liu told RFA, “Many illegal and inhumane methods are used” in tightening down on activists.
Liu mentioned the suspicious death of dissident Xue Mingkai’s father while in police custody last week.
Other recent examples of the mistreatment of activists include the cases of Liu Ping, who reported being beaten while in detention, and of the nephew of blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who has been repeatedly denied medical treatment while serving a prison term on a fabricated charge.