• Campaigns

UA 18/91 - People's Republic of China: legal concern: Liu Xiaobo, Li Yuqi

, Index number: ASA 17/004/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 17/04/91
Distr: UA/SC
UA 18/91 Legal Concern 18 January 1991
LI Yuqi
Liu Xiaobo, a 35 year-old literary critic and university lecturer detained
since 6 June 1989, reportedly went on trial on 16 January 1991, according to
a notice posted outside the Beijing Intermediary People's Court. According
to the notice, he is charged with "counter-revolutionary propaganda and
agitation", which according to the Chinese Criminal Law carries a minimum
sentence of 5 years' imprisonment. Liu Xiaobo was adopted as a prisoner of
conscience by Amnesty International in December 1989.
Liu Xiaobo was one of four men who started a hunger strike on Tiananmen
Square on 2 June 1989 and who negotiated with the army the withdrawal of students
from the square during 3 to 4 June. He was accused by the Chinese official
media in June 1989 of "instigating and participating in the rioting". In a
declaration the four hunger-strikers published on 2 June 1989, they had demanded
an end to martial law in Beijing and stated their commitment to "the peaceful
ways of democratic progress".
Li Yuqi, reportedly a student leader, also went on trial in recent days
on unknown charges. He was reportedly unable to call his girlfriend before
the court as a defence witness: officials reportedly argued that the courtroom
was "too small".
At least 20 dissidents are now known to have been brought to trial for
activities related to the 1989 pro-democracy movement (see UA 07/91, ASA
17/02/91, 11 January, and UA 16/91, ASA 17/03/91, 16 January). Although
official reports have indicated that "local residents" were allowed to attend
the trials of some dissidents earlier this month, relatives of some of the
accused reportedly said they were excluded from the trials. Relatives of at
least one defendant have apparently indicated that they had not been officially
informed of the proceedings. Foreign correspondents and diplomats in Beijing
were also denied permission to attend the trials.
Trial procedures in China fall far short of international standards for
fairness. Defendants may be unable to obtain the assistance of the lawyers
of their choice and to call defence witnesses. In trials of other dissidents
held earlier this month, defendants reportedly had to submit their defence
statements to the court in advance for approval.
Amnesty International is concerned that Liu Xiaobo is a prisoner of
conscience held solely for the peaceful exercise of fundamental human rights
and calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to release him
immediately and unconditionally. It is further concerned that Li Yuqi may
be denied a fair and open trial in accordance with international standards
for fair trials.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern that Liu Xiaobo is held for the peaceful exercise of
fundamental human rights and urging the authorities to review his case and
release him immediately and unconditionally;
- urging the authorities to make public the trial proceedings against Li Yuqi
and the evidence on which the charges against him are based;
- urging the authorities to ensure that the trial of Li Yuqi is open to the
general public and conducted in accordance with international standards for
fairness and to allow international observers to attend the trials.
LI Peng Zongli (Prime Minister)
People's Republic of China
Telexes: 2100070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
CAI Cheng Buzhang (Justice Minister)
People's Republic of China
Telexes: 210070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
(Please forward to Cai Cheng Buzhang)
LIU Fuzhi Jianchazhang (Chief Procurator)
Zuigao Renmin Jianchazhang
Donganmen Beiheyan
People's Republic of China
Faxes: +86 1 512 1158
Telexes: 2100070 FMPRC CN or 22478 MFERT CN
(Please forward to the addressee)
JIANG Zemin Zongshuji (Party General Secretary)
Zhonggong Zhongyang Weiyuanhui
People's Republic of China
SHAO Huaze Zong Bianji (Chief Editor, People's Daily)
Renmin Ribao
Jintaixilu 2
Beijingshi 100733
People's Republic of China
and to diplomatic representatives of the PRC in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 1 March 1991.

Choose a language to view report