Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Imprisoned Chinese Activist Urges Defiance Video from Jail Calls for Exercising Rights

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Imprisoned Chinese Activist Urges Defiance Video from Jail Calls for Exercising Rights

Article excerpt

BEIJING -- A prominent Chinese rights advocate who was detained last month has spoken out on a video shot from behind bars at a detention center in Beijing, urging citizens stand up against the government and turn their rights into reality.

The unusual act of defiance by the advocate, Xu Zhiyong, was available for viewing on a number of websites Thursday, including YouTube and Voice of America, after being disseminated by his supporters.

Handcuffed and wearing a neon orange jail vest, Mr. Xu, 40, spoke on the video for just more than a minute to an unidentified visitor. "I propose that we all act as citizens, upstanding citizens, and exercise the rights of citizens under the constitution," he said. "No matter what becomes of this society, however crushed or absurd, this country needs a group of brave citizens to stand up and abide by their convictions, turning their rights, responsibility and dreams into reality."

A Chinese journalist, Chen Min, who has led efforts to secure Mr. Xu's release, said the video was made Aug. 1. Mr. Chen declined to say who filmed the video. Mr. Xu's lawyer, Liu Weiguo, did not answer calls to his cellphone.

A lawyer with a decade-long record of using litigation, petitions and publicity to seek broader political rights, Mr. Xu was among a number of dissidents whose cases were raised by the State Department at the annual U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue held in China last week.

After three days of talks, Uzra Zeya, acting assistant secretary for human rights, said the United States believed that there was "a deterioration in the overall human rights situation in China," including a pattern of arrests and extralegal detentions of public- interest lawyers such as Mr. Xu. His was the first name on a list of eight people Ms. Zeya said she had discussed with Chinese authorities.

Mr. Xu was arrested July 16 on charges of "assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place." He had been under informal house detention for more than three months. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.