Unpublished Letter to the Sydney Morning Herald

Dear Editor,

I join in the widespread condemnation of the Chinese Government for the imprisonment of writer, Liu Xiaobo. As you point out in your editorial (“Chicken’s fate does not deter monkeys“, Dec 29) Liu and the signatories to Charter 08 “were exercising rights supposedly guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.”

Charter 08 was not a call to revolution, even less to arms or violence of any kind. What then did it call for? “A new constitution” to ensure “sovereignty resides with the people” and “genuinely guarantees human rights”; ” legislative democracy: members of legislative bodies at all levels should be chosen at direct election”; “freedom to assemble: the Constitution should provide that peaceful assembly, demonstration, protest, and freedom of expression are fundamental rights of a citizen”.

And for this, after spending 12 months in prison before trial, Liu Xiaobo received 11 years – a shade more than many a murderer might expect upon conviction in this country.

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 10:42 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting and very convincing letter John, it’s a shame the SMH didn’t publish it. What’s your impression of the Australian press coverage of the story – has it given it the attention it warrants? Two more general questions… Do any of the other Charter 08 signatories face a similar fate to Liu Xiaobo? Secondly, is Amnesty conducting a campaign on Liu Xiaobo’s behalf/ does it have any resources on the subject available on the net?



  2. Tom,
    I’ve posted my answers to your questions in a new post so check on the main page.

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