Human Rights Attorney's Open Letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council
Shanghai attorney Zheng Enchong was sentenced to three years in prison for the crime of “Leaking State Secrets” because he helped forced house-demolishing victims to file lawsuits protesting their uncompensated evictions. Zheng served his full three years prison term and was released on June 6. Upon his release, Shanghai police and National Security Officials monitored him closely and warned him not to contact foreign media. On June 18, Zheng issued his “Open Letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council” via the Chinese Epoch Times. Here is the English translation.
Respected United Nations Human Rights Council,
Respected Mr. Chairman,
Greetings: I am a 55 year-old licensed attorney from Shanghai in the People's Republic of China.
In 1988, I passed the second Chinese National Attorney qualification examination, was granted my attorney's license by the Shanghai Judicature Bureau in May 1990; I have devoted myself to my profession since May 1994.
Since 1994, I have been representing the helpless Shanghai residents who have filed lawsuits against the local government for illegal house demolition, resettlement and land acquisition. On May 28, 2003, I represented six plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Shanghai tycoon Zhou Zhengyi (sentenced to three years imprisonment by Shanghai courts on June 1, 2004) in Shanghai's Jingan court. On the same day, I drafted all the necessary legal documents and helped to provide evidence for the lawsuit. I also drafted a letter on that day addressed to Chinese president Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. In the letter, I exposed the crimes committed by Zhou Zhengyi and criticized former Shanghai mayor and vice Premier Huang Ju.
On October 28, 2003, the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate Court sentenced me to three years imprisonment because I provided national secrets to a U.S. “Chinese human rights” organization on May 28, 2003.
My defending attorney Zhang Sizhi was the chief attorney for the anti-revolutionary group, Jiang Qing, Lin Biao approved by Mr. Deng Xiaoping. He laid the foundation for Chinese attorneys and is an outstanding 80-year-old Chinese attorney.
Another defending lawyer is attorney Guo Guoting from Shanghai Tianyi law office; he was forced into exile in Canada.
The two defending attorneys prepared a not-guilty defense for me.
On my release on June 5 this year, the Shanghai government mobilized six police vehicles, more than 20 policemen and over 30 plainclothes officers, (more than 100 people in total) and put me under house arrest. They even refused to allow me to visit my 94 year old mother Yang Jin – a devout Christian – as well as attend church activities at the Shanghai Moore Memorial Church.
According to a Chinese media source, since 1997 more than 700 Chinese attorneys have been sent to jail for practicing their occupation in accordance with the law. Every year, more than 120 reporters are beaten up, crippled, or killed while on duty.
I make an appeal at the first conference of the new United Nations Human Rights Council:
- Urge the Chinese government to publish the Chinese edition of the “Charter of the United Nations,” various items in the “Convention on Human rights,” the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the “United Nations Convention against Corruption” as soon as possible;
- Urge the Chinese government to make public the representatives of the Chinese government, all their activities, words and deeds, records and pledges at the Human Rights Council in Chinese media;
- Where possible, the United Nations Human Rights Council could provide financial aid to the Chinese citizens and various research institutes in the study of human rights problems;
- The United Nations Human Rights Council to pay attention to the various human rights violations in Chinese prisons;
- Urge the Chinese National People's Congress to pass the “International Convention on Citizen's Rights and Political Rights” as soon as possible;
- Pay attention to the injustice suffered by a Chinese citizen, a Shanghai attorney and his current situation;
- Urge the Chinese government to set a time limit for fulfilling the promise made to abolish the household registration system, thus allowing 1.3 billion citizens the freedom to relocate in China;
- Urge the Chinese government to formulate the “Media Law,” the “Publishing law,” the “Freedom of Speech Law,” the “Freedom of Speech on the Internet Law,” the “Trade Union Strike Law,” the “Journalist Profession Protection Law,” the “Prisoner's Minimum Standard of Living Law,” the “Farmers Organization Registration Law,” the “Minimum protection of Chinese Citizen's Housing Law,” the “Minimum Medical Treatment Guarantee for Chinese Citizens Law” and the “Chinese Citizens Accepting Interviews by International Media Law.”
Thank you, Mr. Chairman
June 15, 2006
Signed at residence: Unit 1406, Building1, Alley 88, Jinyuan Road, Shanghai