采访/陈汉 编辑/王子琦 后制/李智远
China State Media Criticize International Calls to Release Xu Zhiyong
Influential Chinese legal activist Xu Zhiyong was on trial
in Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court on Wednesday.
Xu Zhiyong was facing charges of
“gathering crowds to disrupt public order.”
On the day, the Chinese Communist Party
turned down many foreign media interviews.
Marie Harf, the U.S. State Department Deputy
Spokesperson, and Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador
to China, both called on the Chinese authorities to
immediately release Xu Zhiyong and other activists.
China’s state-controlled media Global Times
accused the West of trying to influence the verdict,
by putting pressure on the Chinese regime.
Marie Harf, U.S. State Department spokeswoman expressed
concern about Xu’s trial in a daily briefing on January 22.
“We obviously call on the Chinese authorities to
release him and other political prisoners immediately.
To cease any restrictions on their freedom of
movement, and guarantee them the protections
and freedoms to which they are entitled under
China’s international human rights commitments.”
On January 23, U.S. Ambassador to China,
Gary Locke also issued a statement.
He criticized “the mistreatment" of foreign
journalists trying to cover the Xu trial.
He called on the Chinese authorities to release
Xu, and other political prisoners immediately.
Mr Locke described the court case as a seeming are
retribution for their public campaign to expose corruption
of officials, and for the peaceful expression of their views.
These prosecutions are the latest in a series
of arrests of public interest lawyers, internet
activist journalists, religious leaders, and others.
These people peacefully challenge
official policies and actions in China.
On January 23, Global Times issued an editorial, claiming
the court will strictly comply with the law during the trial.
It said, “it’s a misleading thought to forcefully connect
Xu’s movement, and his trial, as cause and effect.
Xu’s advocacies are a matter of politics and public
opinion, which are not the business of the court.
However, the court will function
if public order is disrupted.”
Li Yiping, activist and writer: “It’s a misleading concept.
It states that Xu Zhiyong has committed a crime.
However, it didn’t explain how Xu has committed
a crime by demanding officials to declare their
property, as part of exposing corruption?
Why is it against the law to walk on the street with a banner?
What kind of law is it to deprive citizens of
their minimum rights? It is draconian law.”
The Global Times editorial also said that, “Xu’s case
drew wide attention from the West, and they blamed
the Chinese government for suppressing dissidents.
The West tried to influence the verdict by
putting pressure on the Chinese government.”
Liu Xiaoyuan, Beijing human rights lawyer:
“This statement is clearly unjustified.
The United States has for years been
concerned about human rights in China,
and not just in the case of Xu Zhiyong.”
Hu Jia, activist: “By connecting this case
to foreign ‘anti-China forces’ is, in fact, to
mislead public opinion, and to distort facts.
Those who engaged in the New Citizens Movement
are acting exactly in line with public opinion.
It is widely supported internationally. More importantly,
they have also gained widespread domestic support.”
Activist Hu Jia criticizes that the official opinions such
as the Global Times editorials have become jokes.
Hu Jia: “I think they have brought exactly the opposite effect,
even though some people may have been partly blinded.
However, the CCP is losing its credibility.
Pretty soon, its lies will be fully exposed,
and no one will be fooled any longer.”
Writer Li Yiping cautions that China is like a patient.
The violation of human rights is just it’s syndrome.
The illness is Communism, as well as
the interest groups guarding Communism.
Li Yiping: “Everyone is talking about the syndrome.
But we need to find the cure to eliminate the illness.
Criticism will lead to the same result, that is,
the syndrome will continue and happen again.
I’d like to emphasize it is time to eradicate the system,
and to eradicate the interest groups that guard the system.
It is time.”
On January 24, Xu Zhiyong’s defense attorney
Zhang Qingfang spoke to the BBC Chinese network.
Xu Zhiyong’s case has been notified by the
Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court.
The sentencing of the hearing on the morning of January 26.
However, a netizen posted what
attorney Zhang Qingfang had said.
“Everything was setup!”
The court has issued a verdict notice at
the end of Xu Zhiyong’s court hearing.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/WangZiqi Post-Production/LiZhiyuan