Target: President Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China
Goal: Secure the release of Chinese human rights activist
Internet activist Huang Qi is the newest victim of China’s recent crackdown on human rights and civil liberties. His alleged crime: “picking quarrels and provoking troubles.” In reality, Mr. Qi was arrested for his commitment to human rights through his organization Tianwang Human Rights Center, formerly known as Tianwang Center for Missing Persons, and his website www.64tianwang.com.
Both the organization’s and the website’s mission is to track cases of human trafficking and expose human rights abuses throughout mainland China. While most would see such goals as noble and worthwhile, the Chinese government has deemed them embarrassing and subversive. President of China Xi Jinping could easily call for the release of this committed activist and revise policies in his country that deny his people freedom of expression.
Huang Qi has previously been arrested and tried for “subversion” in 2000 and 2008. He was convicted both times, serving a five year and three year sentence respectively. During these sentences he was reportedly tortured, abused, beaten, and denied medical treatment. After each release he resumed his important work to preserve the human rights of the Chinese people and locate those who have gone missing.
News reports confirm that yesterday eleven police officers raided Qi’s home in Chengdu. This arrest came after weeks of arrests and raids on the homes of writers for 64 Tianwang. Three journalists working for the website were arrested in Beijing last week on similar charges. According to William Nee of Amnesty International,
“There now appears to be a concerted campaign of intimidation by the Chinese authorities against those associated with the 64 Tianwang website. Once again the authorities have shown their intent to stifle debate on human rights within China. These are spurious charges against Huang Qi and others detained solely for their work for 64 Tianwang. They must be immediately released.”
Clearly there has been a repeated and concentrated effort to silence this important voice in the human rights community. He must be released, and the rounding up of journalists and dissidents must be stopped. Demand that President Xi Jinping release Qi.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
The arrest and detainment of human rights activist Huang Qi is a travesty of justice, a violation of civil liberties, and is an embarrassment to China. Rather than writing off dissenting voices as “subversive” or “trouble making,” China must encourage its people to take a proactive stance in their safety and well-being, as Huang Qi has, if it is to be a free and open society.
The finding of missing, exploited, and trafficked women and girls is a goal that should be lauded and encouraged, not suppressed. I am urging you to release Huang Qi from prison and commit your government to revising policies that violate human rights and civil liberties.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: tearose via Wikimedia Commons