Five Chinese Law Professors Argue Xu Zhiyong’s Innocence
Chinese legal scholar Xu Zhiyong was
sentenced to four years imprisonment for
“gathering crowds to disrupt public order.”
The verdict has received strong condemnation.
Five law professors in China issued a joint legal
opinion to demonstrate Xu Zhiyong’s innocence.
Commentators analyze that while the Communist
regime found Xu Zhiyong guilty, public opinion
finds the regime guilty of violating the law.
Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four
years imprisonment on January 26.
The following day, five academics from China,
jointly published an independent review.
This included; Professors Gan Peizhong and
Peng Bing from Peking University Law School;
Professor Yao Huanqing from Renmin
University of China Law School;
Professor Wang Yong from China
University of Political Science and Law;
and Associate Professor He Haibo
from Tsinghua University School of Law.
The review, “why we think he’s innocent”
examined the injustice Xu Zhiyong has faced.
It conducted a legal analysis of Xu Zhiyong’s conduct.
It considered the peaceful, public demonstrations
of opinion at parks, squares and universities.
This is part of normal order in such places and
concluded that it does not constitute the crime
of ”gathering crowds to disrupt public order.”
The professors argued that advocating making officials
property public is a legitimate expression of opinion.
Banners and flyers are peaceful
means to express these views.
No public disorder has been created.
The review indicated that Xu Zhiyong’s case should have
been regarded as an example of citizens’ active participation
in the regimes politics, rather than being treated as a crime.
Zhang Zanning, Law Professor at
Southeast University spoke to NTD.
Xu Zhiyong’s sentence is indeed a
shame on the Chinese justice system.
It has fully exposed to the world the
hypocrisy of the Chinese legal system.
Professor Zhang Zanning: “Xu Zhiyong’s sentence is
tantamount to trampling on China’s constitution and laws.
What Xu Zhiyong has done is to uphold the constitution
and safeguard the law, but he was sentenced for that.
This is a great shame on the Chinese judicial system.
Those who sentenced Xu Zhiyong will
forever be nailed into history with shame.“
Xu Zhiyong launched the New Citizens’ Movement in 2012.
The movement advocated freedom, democracy,
rule of law, declaration of officials property, equal
education rights, and citizen meal time gathering.
This was to bring awareness for citizens to
participate in promoting Chinese civil rights.
Under his initiative, thousands of Chinese have taken
to the streets and participated in these movements.
However, since last year, the founders and participants
of the New Citizens’ Movement have been subjected
to arrest and prosecution by the Chinese regime.
As well as Xu Zhiyong, also accused of disrupting
public order are Zhao Changqing, Hou Xin, Liu Yuandong,
Ding Jiaxi, Li Wei, Zhang Baocheng, and Yuan Dong.
Xu Zhiyong’s defense attorney Zhang Qingfang believes that
Xu’s sentence is the regime’s threat, and a warning to others.
Zhang Qingfang, lawyer: “In the language of the law, they
tell the activists not to cross the government’s red line.
Regardless of the purpose or goal, street politics will end
up with the same fate as Xu Zhiyong, being thrown into jail.“
Law Professor Zhang Zanning points out that the Communist
regime has seriously violated China’s constitution and laws.
Freedom of speech in the constitution is empty talk.
Zhang Zanning: “The so-called political and
legal reform is simply hypocritical and a fraud.
It has placed itself in opposition to Chinese citizens.
The court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, but the trial was
tantamount to judging the violations of the regime.
The regime will be subject to liquidation,
and abandoned by the people sooner or later.“
The regime’s decision against Xu Zhiyong
has caused a strong rebound domestically.
It has also received strong criticism
from the international community.
The US State Department said in a statement on
January 26 that the US was “deeply disappointed.”
It called on the Chinese authorities to release
Xu and other political prisoners, immediately.
It also called to end any restrictions on their freedom of
movement, and guarantee them protection and freedom.
Amnesty International said, “the Chinese authorities have
once again opted for the rule of fear over the rule of law.”
Further, it condemned the verdict as “shameful.”
Human Rights Watch also issued a statement condemning
the hypocrisy of the anti-corruption campaign. “When an
average citizen takes up the same cause, he’s sent to prison.”
Interview & Edit/LiYun Post-Production/LiYong