the two anniversaries. However, more people are concerned about the present than about recollections of the past. They are hoping that these important dates will bring new hope.
Therefore, I would like to suggest sincerely that a general amnesty be granted nationally, and in particular, that Wei Jingsheng and all other political prisoners be released.
No matter how Wei Jingsheng himself should be evaluated, I think it will be a humanitarian act to release a prisoner who has already spent ten years in prison. This will promote a better social atmosphere.
1989 is also the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity embodied thereby is now generally respected by mankind in every sense. Here I earnestly request that you would be kind enough to consider my suggestion so that our future will be blessed with more hope.
Very truly yours,
Open Letter to the Party and Government from Thirty-three Famous Chinese Intellectuals
Source: News from Asia Watch, March 15, 1989.
February 16, 1989
We have heard about Mr. Fang Lizhi's letter to Chairman Deng Xiaoping on January 6, 1989, and we are deeply concerned.
We think that to release political prisoners, especially Wei Jingsheng and others on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the People's Republic of China and the seventieth anniversary of the May 4th Movement is helpful in creating a harmonious atmosphere, which is good for the reform; and it also conforms to the universal trend for human rights in the world today.
These are the first thirty-three signers of the open letter from Beijing:
Bei Dao ( poet and playwright), Shao Yanxiang ( poet and writer), Niu Han ( writer), Lao Mu ( editor), Wu Zuguang ( playwright), Li Tuo ( playwright), Xie