Police Summon Beijing Intellectual Zhang Zuhua,
China Continues Crackdown on Charter 08
(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, December 26, 2008) – On the day after Christmas, police summoned Zhang Zuhua (张祖桦) for a 3-hour interrogation. Mr. Zhang, a leading drafter and signatory of Charter 08 was summoned for the second time within 20 days. The first time was on December 8th, on the eve of Charter 08's launch. Charter 08 demands bold political reforms that promote human rights and democracy and articulating principles for a platform of citizens' actions. Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), detained on December 08 in connection to Charter 08, remains in police custody. Several dozens of signers have since been interrogated or subjected to surveillance. More than 5,000 Chinese citizens have since signed Charter 08.
In the evening of December 26, Zhang Zuhua, signatory to Charter 08 and prominent dissident intellectual, was taken away from his homes. Four policemen from Beijing National Security Brigade of Beijing Municipal Public Security (PSB) and the local branch of PSB came to his home around 10:55pm and took him away for "detention for interrogation" (传唤 chuan huan).
It is unclear on what legal bases or using which law police summoned Mr. Zhang. The 3-hour interrogation focused on intimidation. His interrogators sternly warned Mr. Zhang about "severe consequences" to his family and friends if he continued to give media interviews or engaging in any other activities in promoting Charter 08.
On December 25, Wen Kejian (温克坚), an outspoken Hangzhou-based writer, was questioned by police for several hours in retaliation for his signing of Charter 08. On the evening of December 26,
Chinese Human Rights Defenders condemns the intimidation and harassment on Charter 08 signatories solely for their peaceful activities in expressing their views about how to promote democratic reform and protection of human rights in China. By authorizing the police to continue this crackdown on the Charter 08 movement, the Chinese government violates its constitutional commitment and international treaty obligations to respect human rights. China is also acting in contradiction to its own interest in building good international reputation as it will soon face international scrutiny on its human rights records during the UN Human Rights Council "Universal Periodical Review" in February 2009.
For more information, please see:
CHRD: "Crackdown on Charter 08 Widens as More Activists are Interrogated and Intimidated China Must Release Detained Intellectual Liu Xiaobo Immediately" /Article/Class9/Class98/200812/20081216212554_12417.html
Charter 08, December 10, 2008 (The English version in the New York Review of Books) /Article/Class9/Class98/200812/20081210142700_12297.html