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Chinese student, scholars group condemns the arrest of Du Daobin
Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars
11/18/2003



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WASHINGTON DC - With the arrest of Hubei Province intellectual Du Daobin by police on 28th October for “subversion of state power,” the IFCSS calls on all Chinese students and scholars abroad to be aware of the recent new wave of persecution against political essayists and liberal intellectuals.

In the past several weeks, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has again invoked a draconian law, passed generations ago, that punishes people for what they write and say. The CCP has already arrested and sentenced several liberal intellectuals and political opposition figures including He Depu, Ou Yangyi, Jiang Lijun and Luo Yongzhong.

The arrest and charge of Du Daobin proves that there has not been a reduction in human rights violations, controls on freedom of speech, and persecution of opposition voices under the CCP’s fourth generation leaders, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, compared with the previous generation.

The 39 year-old Du Daobin has actively published articles on the Internet in recent years and his fame has spread considerably in intellectual circles. His articles cover topics that include the exposing of governmental errors, giving advice to the authorities, criticism of the so-called "three represents," problems with city and county taxes, and the inequity of government investment between eastern and western China.

Du criticized the government for censuring and stopping the publication of “South China Weekend” (a popular magazine published in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, which used to publish a lot of articles criticizing government policies and uncovering corruption inside the CCP – Editor).

Du also appealed to rescue Liu Di, a student at Beijing Normal University.

The IFCSS regards Du Daobin's actions to fall under the protection of China's constitution. Article 35 of the constitution clearly states that all citizens have the right to free speech. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any civilized country. In today's China, society is following international trends, but a citizen's right to freedom of speech cannot be ignored, let alone completely deprived.

Not long ago, China successfully conducted its first manned spaceflight and in the not to distant future our nation may even send a man to the moon. But, a nation with a population of 1.3 billion, overrun with secret police who closely monitor everything from the people to the Internet, can only offer its people extreme terror and depression. People’s basic rights are not guaranteed. They are deprived of their right to basic freedom of speech.

Newspapers, radio and the Internet are still under the firm control and manipulation of government authorities. Non-political organizations like Falun Gong are still illegal in China. People still don’t have the right to freely nominate their leader as before, but the word "leader" is still the word used to describe a dictator who arbitrarily waves the heavy stick of "subversion of state power." Even if our nation has the money and technology to send a national hero like Yang Jianli into space, how much pride could we ever feel with when we are still constrained by these spiritual and physical shackles? Looked at from this angle, people like Du Daobin, He Depu, Ouyang Yi, Luo Yongzhong, Yang Zili, Liu Di and others who dare to call for freedom, without fear of retribution, are the true heroes of our nation.

The IFCSS urges the new generation of CCP leaders to recognize and comply with the trends and history of human civilization, which respects people’s freedom and guarantees people’s constitutional rights. We urge the leaders to immediately stop the persecution of political opposition, release Du Daobin and all prisoners of conscience, and stop the persecution and trampling of political dissidents and various spiritual beliefs.

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