Farmers in Heilongjiang Province Call for 'Human Rights, Not Olympic Games'

By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times
July 14, 2007 Updated: July 14, 2007

On June 2, 2007, farmers in Fujin City, Helongjiang Province published a proposal titled “Human Rights Wanted, Not Olympic Games” to demand returned ownership of their farm land that was illegally seized by the Chinese communist regime for the past 12 years. Within one month, their proposal gathered over 10,000 supporters. In response, the Chinese communist regime detained and arrested activists, but supporters and rights organizations continue to rally for the cause.

'Human Rights Wanted, Not Olympic Games'

On July 6, rights activist Yu Chanwu was detained; shortly afterwards activists Wang Guilin and Yang Chunlin from Jiamusi City were arrested. On the day of Wang and Yang's arrests, nearly 3,000 signatures were collected and sent overseas.

Yang had been helping the landless farmers and participated in the hunger-strike initiated by renowned Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng to protest against human rights violations in China in 2006. Yang expressed that “Human Rights Wanted, Not Olympic Games” is the best rights-protection slogan for farmers who lost their farm land.

Pan Qing from the National Citizens' Association for Anti-tyranny and Rights-Protection (NCA) and the overseas spokesperson for the farmers stated that their slogan is not political. Pan said, “This is only the feelings expressed by the farmers who lost their land and those of the lowest social status after witnessing the Chinese communist regime spend billions of dollars on the Olympic Games, while completely neglecting the lives of Chinese people.”

Over Ten Thousand Supporters for Landless Farmers

Signatures of Fujin City farmers who lost their land were sent overseas through several dispatches. Since June 2, there have been five batches of 100 to nearly 3,000 signatures, with a current total of 9,869 and counting.

Farmers from Jixi City also showed their support for the Fujin farmers and signed their proposal. For several years, the Jixi farmers have been appealing in Beijing multiple times per year to protest the corruption of local authorities in regards to land, capital and other natural resources, but their issues were never resolved. These farmers stated that they believe the legal system is the fundamental reason for the injustice and are taking advantage of the 2008 Games to ask the Chinese communist regime to improve its human rights.

Several thousand laid-off miners in Jixi City also signed to support the “Human Rights Wanted, Not Olympic Games” proposal.

NCA Sends International Appeals

After the international media published the slogan, NCA stated that they received warm responses from around the country, including from the provinces of Sichuan, Zhejiang, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei. Supporters believe that the wishes of those Fujin City farmers apply to people nationwide who have been suppressed and harmed.

NCA is appealing to international organizations and all people to condemn the Chinese communist regime's suppression of human rights. NCA sent a strong appeal to the 2008 Olympics participants, sponsors, and the the International Olympic Committee, asking them to respect basic human rights. The NCA wants them to ask the Chinese authorities to stop their persecution and release human rights representatives Yang Chunlin and Wang Guili immediately.

NCA states that, across China, farmers who have lost land, urban residents who are forced to move, workers who are oppressed and other suffering Chinese make up a huge group of people calling for “Human Rights Wanted, Not Olympic Games.” It believes that the international society should face the appeals and need for human rights.