CSN updates of October 13, 2009
RAZY rises to lodge objections in Hong Kong
The Rescue Alliance for Zhou Yongjun, co-founded by the China Support Network, held another news conference Monday -- this time, in Hong Kong.
Zhou Yongjun (also known as Majer Zhou) was an early bird -- fast off the mark -- as the first student leader in the uprising at Tiananmen Square -- an occasion in 1989 that led to the army crackdown against demonstrators, who were seeking freedom, democracy, and human rights in Mainland China. Students elected him the first Chairman of the Autonomous Students' Federation of Beijing Universities, the group which initially ran the Tiananmen Square protests.
Zhou, now legally a permanent U.S. resident, is presently in the custody of Mainland Chinese authorities in the Suining district of Sichuan Province, for his third stint as a political prisoner in Mainland China. The authorities have lodged trumped-up charges accusing him of financial fraud, even though Zhou lived in the United States and could not have committed any crime whatsoever in the jurisdiction of the Mainland, on Chinese soil.
He was arrested by border police of Hong Kong as he tried to enter there in September, 2008. He had been motivated by the declining health of his aging parents, and by the devastation of the Sichuan earthquake which struck his hometown in early 2008. He was travelling with a false passport, purchased from an immigration company, bearing the name Wang Xingxiang.
Monday's news conference highlighted a peculiar aspect in this human rights case: The case is one of arbitrary arrest and detention. But, there are really two complaints which can be lodged with two governments: Hong Kong performed the arbitrary arrest, and then with no legal basis nor proceedings whatsoever, handed Zhou over to Mainland China, which continues the arbitrary detention.
As a result, RAZY is lodging Zhou's case with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, but in addition there is an effort by lawyers in RAZY to focus Hong Kong attention on the baseless rendition of Zhou, performed by Hong Kong authorities in flagrant disregard of international human rights, the judicial independence of Hong Kong, and normal procedures.
Newswires covered Monday's news conference, and they noted the normal procedures and how they have been violated in this case. In the Reuters story--
"Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, enjoys a high degree of autonomy and a separate judicial system under its mini-constitution, the Basic Law, but critics say the case of Zhou Yongjun sets a worrying precedent....
"Extradition of individuals from Hong Kong to China remains rare, while the Basic Law obliges authorities to "safeguard the rights and freedoms" of all those in the city....
"The Hong Kong government responded to the incident in a statement by saying anyone with an invalid travel document would be 'repatriated to his or her place of embarkation or origin'.
"It wasn't made clear, however, why Zhou was not sent back to Macau or the United States where he is normally resident."
The AP quoted RAZY co-founder Li Jinjin, a dissident Chinese attorney who was himself a Tiananmen Square student leader, as saying "Zhou was sent to China without legal basis. Hong Kong is responsible."
On the DPA newswire, Hong Kong "has a separate legal and political system and a mini-constitution that guarantees freedom of speech and political freedoms. Extraditions to China are rare."
Albert Ho, the head of Hong Kong's Democratic Party, joined the news conference. On the AFP newswire, Ho said, "Hong Kong does not have a rendition treaty with mainland China so should not have transferred dissident Zhou Yongjun to the Chinese city of Shenzhen in September last year."
On the AP newswire,
"Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997, but the territory retains separate political, legal, economic and immigration systems from the mainland. It also lacks a deportation and removal treaty with mainland China.
"They are totally disregarding the obligations under the law," Albert Ho, a Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker who is helping with Zhou's case, said of Hong Kong authorities. "It seems the government is acting on the direction from China."
On the Reuters newswire, Ho said, "This possibly constitutes a very serious infringement of (Zhou's) rights, which is guaranteed in the Basic Law," and added, "He was taken back against his will to China for trial or investigation."
On the AFP newswire,
"'We are pressing for the government to explain why it sent him (Zhou) to the mainland,' said Ho, who is acting as a lawyer for Zhou and his family.
"Ho said he was also asking to see police records for Zhou's case.
"Zhou, who is being held in a detention facility in his home province of Sichuan, has been charged with defrauding Hong Kong's Hang Seng bank, Ho said."
Zhou's girlfriend Yuewei Zhang also featured prominently in the coverage. On the AP wire,
"'I am here with our little girl to look for Daddy,' said Zhang Yuewei, Zhou's girlfriend and the mother of his young daughter. 'It's Hong Kong's government who sent him to mainland China.'...
"On Monday, Zhou's girlfriend carried a portrait of him as she marched with other supporters to Hong Kong's government headquarters. They called on Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang to explain why Zhou was turned over to Chinese officials, a possible violation of the territory's laws, and asked for help securing his release."
On the DPA wire,
"At a press conference Monday, his girlfriend and mother of his young daughter accused the Hong Kong government of sending Zhou to China where he is detained in Sichuan....
"Girlfriend Zhang Yuewei said Zhou's family only learned of his arrest and detention in Sichuan seven months after he was placed in custody in mainland China....
"His girlfriend and lawyer said there is a political motive for trying him in Sichuan rather than in Hong Kong where the alleged offences took place."
On the Reuters wire,
"Zhou, a former student leader from the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement in Beijing, travelled to Hong Kong from Macau last September under a false identity, but was held and transferred by Hong Kong officials to police in the South China city of Shenzhen, his girlfriend and lawyer told reporters.
"'Zhou Yongjun went missing in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong government sent him to China, leading to him being detained till now,' said Zhang Yuewei, Zhou's girlfriend."
Speeches mark 60 million resignations from the Chinese Communist Party
A rally was held on October 4 on the Boston Common to salute the progress of the Tuidang (Quit the Party) campaign. In the past four years, it has recorded 60 million statements of Chinese people leaving the Communist Party and related organs such as the Communist Youth League.
"Nobody believes in communism anymore," said CSN's John Kusumi in a speech at the rally. In another speech, Boston-based campaigner Michael Tsang listed the sins of the Communist Party (a partial list) and then considered the stance of U.S.-China policy.
In Tsang's speech, it's about more than "whether the U.S. is going to be displaced as the economic power of the world, or increasingly lose its military edge. My concern is whether America continues to lead the world in freedom and democracy. We are increasingly condoning all of this and in danger of losing our standards without our realizing it. Not cognizant of their [CCP] tactics, we are conceding to them rapidly on every front."
More on the Boston event can be found as follows.
Article in the Epoch Times:http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/23483/
Kusumi speech in CSN's blog:http://chinasupport.blogspot.com/2009/10/prepared-remarks-of-oct-4-2009.html
Tsang speech in CSN's blog:http://chinasupport.blogspot.com/2009/10/speech-by-michael-tsang.html
China marks a different occasion with the number 60
On October 1, the regime of the Chinese Communist Party turned 60 years old.
At the China Support Network, nobody celebrated. Instead, we co-sponsored a protest prepared by REAL at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.
That protest heard speeches from organizer Jeffrey Imm and from Timothy Cooper, the Executive Director of Worldrights.
An article about that protest appears at the URL below, and we thank Jeffrey Imm and REAL for the co-sponsorship.
Bao Tong reviews the PRC at 60
Bao Tong was a political aide to ousted chief Zhao Ziyang. (Zhao was a Communist Party leader who took the side of the students in the Tiananmen Square matter, and was deposed by the hardliners who won the power struggle in 1989. Zhao lived under house arrest for 16 years until his death in 2005.) Bao lives under house arrest in Beijing, and he wrote an essay for the October 10 occasion of Taiwan's National Day.
Bao may have written the best summary of the past 60 years in Mainland China. Bao said the last 60 years of “glorious” Communist rule contained “a big lie.”
“In the first 30 years, tens of millions either died of starvation or were ‘struggled’ to death under the banner of revolution,” he wrote.
“In the second 30 years, anyone standing up for civil and constitutional rights, for religious freedom, for ethnic autonomy has been declared an enemy of the people en masse, all in the name of stability.”
Bao also praised Taiwan's model of government, and as reported by Radio Free Asia, Bao said that "reunification should occur on the basis of Taiwan’s system of government, not China’s."