Sixteen retired Chinese Communist Party officials are now under the control of the Party’s security forces after writing a letter demanding the resignation of security chief Zhou Yongkang, according to overseas Chinese media.
The cadres attracted international—and briefly, domestic—media attention after their open letter was published online on May 9. They addressed Party leader Hu Jintao demanding the resignation of security chief Zhou Yongkang and propaganda leader Liu Yunshan, taking the bold step of appending their full names and phone numbers.
Now they are “being controlled” by the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), and Domestic Security (guobao) and National Security (guo’an) officers, according to a resident of Zhaotong, Yunnan, southern China, where many of the officials are from. He communicated the news in an “urgent telephone call” published on the overseas democracy website Canyu, which originally published the letter by the cadres.
Zhou ordered his security men to “take command of the situation and put these ‘elements’ of instability under strict control,” according to Canyu’s source. The 16 officials were also warned that if they persist in their demands, they will end up in prison or risk losing their lives, Canyu reported.
The retired cadres called the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, and the persecution of Falun Gong, which began in 1999 and continues today, “unbearable stains” and “shames” in their letter.
Zhao Zhengrong, one of the main organizers of the appeal, and Yu Yongqing, author of the letter, are under particularly close watch, Canyu’s source said. Their cellphones appear to have been cut off, and security personnel are stationed outside their homes 24 hours a day, Canyu’s source said.
The Epoch Times on May 22 tried to reach each of the 16 officials through their phone numbers listed on the letter, which have worked previously, but none of the calls went through.
The 16 officials, most of whom are over 80 years old, are veteran members of the Communist Party and have experienced Communist Party political campaigns over many decades. Some of the officials were accused of being “rightists” during Mao Zedong’s rectification campaigns, with some suffering intense persecution. After the Mao era many of the officials resumed their positions as heads of towns, districts, and public security bureaus in Yunnan Province, according to Canyu.
“I hope the whole party and people around the country can pay close attention to what’s facing these officials, and not allow the Domestic Security and National Security Bureaus to harass and terrify them,” Canyu’s source said. “I especially ask Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to protect them and not indulge Zhou Yongkang’s evilness that suppresses forces of democracy within the Party.”
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