采访/朱智善 编辑/王子琦 后制/孙宁
A New Path to Justice for Chinese Petitioners
Recently, news has spread widely on over China's
internet about “Judge Obama in the White House.”
Netizens in Mainland China have
brought Zhu Ling's case abroad.
Zhu Ling, a Tsinghua University student,
was poisoned by thallium, 19 years ago.
Netizens even requested that Obama
send troops to liberate people in China.
This scenario has concerned reporters worldwide.
Some say it is the black humor of
Chinese petitioners driven to despair.
Others believe that this is not despair but awakening,
revealing a new path for Chinese petitioners.
In accordance with relevant provisions of the United States,
as long as a petition can gather 100,000 signatures
within 30 days, the White House needs to respond.
A petition for Zhu Ling's case gathered
over 100,000 signatures in three days.
This move to go abroad, as well as the number
of petitioners, has stunned reporters worldwide. This is unprecedented.
According to Voice of America reports on May 6,
"France 24 television” website reported this rare news.
On May 8, Jiang Xin, the U.S. Cable News reporter
in China, also sent a lengthy story from Beijing.
It gave details of Zhu Ling's case, as well as
bizarre developments over the past week.
Netizen, Mr. Zhang from Xinjiang: "Many
of them have petitioned for quite a while.
They recognize that China is not ruled by law.
Petitioners have taken foreign media
and the White House as their hope.
This clearly indicates that only true democracy and
a rule-of-law society will be the people's real hope.
Then, petitioners' grievances can
be resolved through a proper channel.”
When the Chinese petition appeared
on the White House website,
it attracted the attention of China's official newspapers,
People's Daily and Xinhua News Agency.
These newspapers also published articles,
claiming “restoring justice”, and “clarifying rumors.”
Yet, netizens responded: ‘Sorry, it is a little too late'.
As China's judicial branch lacks independence,
many petitioners went to Beijing to appeal.
Unfortunately, they have been
detained, arrested and abused.
Because officials protect themselves,
petitioners are generally being retaliated against.
Taking the case to the court overseas
has become petitioners' last resort.
Lan Shu, political commentator:
“Over the last three decades,
people in China have changed their methods
to petition, which tells us what has really happened.
It evolved from the earliest leapfrog petitions.
These traveled from the central office, the High
Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate
to passing flyers in foreign consular districts.
This moved to petitioning in Hong Kong, the
United Nations, and finally to the White House.”
Some petitioners were so desperate that they
passed their complaint materials to foreign media.
They wanted foreign reporters to report their grievances.
A large number of such letters
were delivered to NTD Television.
Today, the White House website has received
numerous petitions from Chinese netizens.
Will this be the Chinese petitioners' new path?
Lan Shu: “This clearly shows that petitioners are more
likely to choose public opinion to protect their rights.
It also indicates their total despair towards Chinese
officials, the judicial system, the Communist system,
and media under the control of the Communist system.
After decades of petitioning, Chinese people
have finally reached complete despair.
This depair has led them marching on
the path to the White House website.”
Chinese petitioners' quest for justice abroad
is unprecedented. How will the US react to this?
At the moment, it is still a mystery to the world.
However, Chinese netizens have now made history.
Lan Shu: “Zhu Ling's case will only be the beginning.
In the future, there may be more Chinese petitioners
revealing their experiences on the White House website.
I think this is a rather interesting phenomenon.”
Netizen Zhang, from Xinjiang, believes it is the sorrow of
one's own country if citizen's grievances cannot be aired.
However, many petitioners have realized this.
Chinese petitioners airing requests on the White House
website is not an indication of their desperation.
It is an indication of their awakening.