Target: Wu Aiying, Minister of Justice, Peoples Republic of China
Goal: Overturn guilty verdict handed down against human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang.
The ForceChange community petitioned for the release of Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang. However, despite our best efforts, Chinese authorities rendered a guilty verdict to him and handed down a three-year suspended prison sentence. A Beijing court declared that Zhiqiang incited “ethnic hatred” and picked “quarrels” and provoked “trouble” in seven social media posts that he wrote. Amnesty International’s William Nee said of the conviction, “Pu Zhiqiang is no criminal and this guilty verdict effectively shackles one of China’s bravest champions of human rights.”
Zhiqiang was detained for more than 18 months in prison while Chinese authorities attempted to build a case against him. During his 18-month-plus incarceration, the seven social media posts were the only thing the Chinese government could find.
Although it is positive that Zhiqiang is likely to be released from custody as a result of the suspended sentence, it is still arguable that he is guilty of any crime. This appears to be a veiled attempt of the Chinese government to silence Zhiqiang and prevent him from practicing law. Demand that this guilty verdict be overturned and Zhiqiang cleared of all charges.
Dear Minister Wu,
I am heavy-hearted at the news that the Chinese government has handed down a guilty verdict against human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang. This humanitarian has been incarcerated unfairly for over 18 months, and this guilty verdict and suspended sentence is a veiled attempt of the Chinese government to silence a man standing up for the rights of Chinese citizens.
This is a gross injustice that cannot be ignored. The evidence against Zhiqiang is no evidence at all. Using freedom of expression to post seven times on social media—a mere total of 600 characters—to draw attention to injustice is hardly a crime. Overturn Zhiqiang’s guilty verdict and clear this man of all charges.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SFT HQ