Saturday, December 26, 2009

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary..."

A country which charges someone with “inciting subversion of state power” and condemns him to prison for 11 years because he publicly in a petition calls for the respect of human rights in that country perhaps should indeed have its state power subverted!
On Christmas Day, December 25, 2009, CHINA condemned LIU XIAOBO to 11 years in prison for subversion because of his co-authorship and signing of the CHARTER 08, which endorses the following basic universal values - Freedom, Human Rights, Equality, Republicanism, Democracy, Constitutional Rule - and calls on the Chinese government to respect these in accordance with international agreements. The trial lasted three hours.
In support of LIU XIAOBO and of the CHARTER 08, I call on the P.R. China to grant in full all rights and reforms called for in that charter, free the falsely convicted and imprisoned LIU XIAOBO, and immediately to cease all persecution of any and all other signatories of that Charter 08, which I herewith consider myself also to have signed.

The Charter 08 begins as follows:

A hundred years have passed since the writing of China's first constitution. 2008 also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of the Democracy Wall in Beijing, and the tenth of China's signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We are approaching the twentieth anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre of pro-democracy student protesters. The Chinese people, who have endured human rights disasters and uncountable struggles across these same years, now include many who see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values of humankind and that democracy and constitutional government are the fundamental framework for protecting these values.
and concludes thusly:
China, as a major nation of the world, as one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and as a member of the UN Council on Human Rights, should be contributing to peace for humankind and progress toward human rights. Unfortunately, we stand today as the only country among the major nations that remains mired in authoritarian politics. Our political system continues to produce human rights disasters and social crises, thereby not only constricting China's own development but also limiting the progress of all of human civilization. This must change, truly it must. The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer.
Accordingly, we dare to put civic spirit into practice by announcing Charter 08. We hope that our fellow citizens who feel a similar sense of crisis, responsibility, and mission, whether they are inside the government or not, and regardless of their social status, will set aside small differences to embrace the broad goals of this citizens' movement. Together we can work for major changes in Chinese society and for the rapid establishment of a free, democratic, and constitutional country. We can bring to reality the goals and ideals that our people have incessantly been seeking for more than a hundred years, and can bring a brilliant new chapter to Chinese civilization.
May this light continue to illuminate the minds of thinking people everywhere and bring to a conclusion the repressive darkness the Chinese government seeks to maintain over one-and-a-half billion people!
May the governments of all other countries and the managers of all enterprises around the globe clearly make the release of LIU XIAOBO and the implementation of the reforms demanded in the Charter 08 a condition for all talks, negotiations, treaties, partnerships, cooperations, business deals, etc. with the government of the P.R. of China claiming to be a representative of the Chinese people!
The Chinese government MUST learn that we will NOT SUPPORT their repression in return for their money.
These universal values are noble goals, the Charter 08 is a noble document, and LIU XIAOBO is a noble human being!

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