Target: President of China Xi Jinpig
Goal: Stop arresting activists in anticipation of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre
Over the past several days, a large number of prominent Chinese activists were arrested in anticipation of the anniversary of the June 4th, 1989 Tienanmen Square Massacre. While more well-known activists were only barred from leaving their homes, many less prominent activists were simply arrested without cause and taken to undisclosed locations. While the Chinese government likely plans to release these individuals after the anniversary of the massacre, it is a gross violation of human rights to arrest dozens of people without cause on a yearly basis. The Chinese government must make a commitment to prevent these arrests from becoming a yearly event.
These arrests are the dangerous capstone on a broader campaign of preventing citizens from protesting or discussing the 1989 Massacre, in which untold numbers of civilians were killed while peacefully protesting. The government has also strategically planned for “construction work” to occur during the anniversary of the massacre, preventing anyone from accessing the square from June 3-5th. In addition, the government has made it extremely difficult for Chinese citizens to research the events of the massacre by a huge number of blocks on internet searches, as has been the policy for several years.
It was hoped that with the recent inauguration of president Xi Jinpig, his administration would relax restrictions on discussion or protest of the Massacre. Instead, he has set a dangerous new precedent by arresting innocent activists without cause, and threatening to make it a yearly event.
Dear Xi Jinpig,
Your administration’s new policy of arresting activists without due cause prior to the anniversary of the Tienanmen massacre is a gross violation of human rights. The idea of this happening every year, particularly with mysterious and worrisome arrests like that of Tang Jingling, is reprehensible. Arresting them also serves no purpose, as information about the Tienanmen massacre are well-known due to the actions of groups like the Mothers of Tienanmen. Instead of trying to censor information about the massacre, it should publish a public apology.
At very least, however, the protesters currently jailed or under house arrest must be released. More importantly, their arrests must not become a yearly event, as it sets a dangerous and morally reprehensible precedent by denying them of their rights.
[Your name here]
Photo Credit: Peter Griffin