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A Translation of Beijing Police’s Recommendation to Indict Xu Zhiyong for Asset Disclosure and Equal Education Right Campaigns

Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau

Opinion Recommending Indictment

 Beijing Public [Security Bureau] Indictment [Opinion] (2013) no. 99

The criminal suspect Xu Zhiyong is a male, ethnic Han, born March 2, 1973, a Beijing resident, Ph.D in law, citizen with no Party affiliation, and lecturer in humanities at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications; ID card number: 620102197303025316, place of household registration: Apt 1104, No. 4 Qinghe Qingyuan Dong Li, Haidian District, Beijing, current residential address: Apt 1104, No. 4 Qinghe Qingyuan Dong Li, Haidian District, Beijing. Xu was criminally detained on July 16, 2013, on suspicion of the crime of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place. He was lawfully arrested on charges of gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place on August 22, 2013, and is currently detained in the Beijing Municipal Detention Center No. 3.

The case of criminal suspect Xu Zhiyong’s gathering crowds to disrupt order in public places is connected to the case being handled by this bureau of Hou Xin, Yuan Dong, Ma Xinli, Zhang Baocheng et al illegally assembling on March 31, 2013. Through interrogation and investigation of a number of currently detained criminal suspects it was discovered that Xu Zhiyong was the behind-the-scenes instigator of a whole series of incidents of gathering crowds to disrupt order. Therefore, on July 16, 2013, this bureau summoned the criminal suspect Xu Zhiyong to a public security organ for interrogation and investigation. That investigation has now concluded.

Through investigation in accordance with law, the following has been ascertained:

I.   From the end of 2009 until the beginning of 2010, after Xu Zhiyong, at Wang Gongquan’s instigation, had set up a program for education equality,* Xu Zhiyong, Wang Gongquan et al established an executive committee which held a number of meetings to discuss how to promote this program. Later, Xu Zhiyong, using his personal influence, took part in a number of mass gatherings of parents [who lived and worked in Beijing but were] without Beijing household registration. Through gathering to deliberate, online liaisons, printing and distribution of promotional materials, micro-blog posts, essays, and other means, Xu repeatedly incited parents without Beijing household registration to gather en masse before the Ministry of Education in order to exert pressure on government departments. In addition, Xu Zhiyong tasked Lin Zheng with the administration of specifically-created bank accounts for donations for the education equality program and paid Lin Zheng a salary. [He also] asked Meng Fanling, the representative of parents without Beijing household registration, to handle contact with the students’ parents, reimbursed her for travelling expenditures and expenses for collecting signatures, and paid her a salary. Due to Xu Zhiyong et al’s organisation, planning, and incitement, several incidents occurred where parents without Beijing household registration gathered before the Ministry of Education to create a social disturbance, including the incidents of July 5 and February 28. Among these were the following:

1. In July 2012, Xu Zhiyong met and conspired with the students’ parents and made multiple microblog posts inciting the group of parents without Beijing household registration to go to the Ministry of Education to petition. On July 5, 2012, under the organisation, planning, and instigation of Xu Zhiyong, more than 100 such parents of students gathered at the Ministry of Education to create a serious disturbance, during which they misrepresented China’s educational policies, verbally abused Ministry officials, and disobeyed control [efforts] by public security and people’s police officers, thereby seriously disrupting order in a public place.

2. On January 25, 2013, Xu Zhiyong, Wang Gongquan, Ding Jiaxi et al gathered at U.B.C. Coffee, and agreed to encourage parents without Beijing household registration to assemble at the Beijing Municipal Education Commission to make a show of force and apply pressure. Then, Xu Zhiyong, Wang Gongquan et al incited others into action by making microblog posts, sending group text messages, and producing and disseminating leaflets and business cards. Under the incitement of Xu Zhiyong, Wang Gongquan, and Ding Jiaxi, on February 2, 2013, more than 100 students’ parents went to the Beijing Municipal Education Commission to assemble and cause a disturbance. The parents disobeyed control [efforts] by public security and people’s police officers, thereby seriously disrupting order in a public place.

II.   On September 11, 2012, Xu Zhiyong colluded with Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing et al to gather and discuss launching “asset disclosure’’** activities. Afterward, Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, Li Wei, Wang Yonghong, Sun Hanhui et al gathered several more times to conspire and continue discussing specific details of launching asset disclosure activities. During this time, the aforementioned persons made a joint resolution to take to the streets to disseminate leaflets and unfurl banners in order to continuously expand the influence of these activities. Also after some discussion, funds were later consolidated to create leaflets and banners. These were distributed to relevant persons involved in the incidents in order to gradually upgrade these activities from “gathering signatures on the internet” to “displaying banners on the streets” and other illegal activities. Due to the organization, planning, incitement, and leadership of Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, Li Wei et al, beginning in January of 2013, several incidents, including incidents on January 27, February 23, February 24, March 9, and March 31, occurred in which several persons displayed banners, disseminated leaflets, and stirred up rumors in public venues such as Chaoyang Park, Tsinghua University, Zhongguancun Plaza, and Xidan Plaza, seriously disrupting order in a public place.

1. In mid to late January 2013, Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, Li Wei, Sun Hanhui, Wang Yonghong et al met in U.B.C. Coffee and decided to go to the South Gate of Chaoyang Park to display banners on January 27, 2013. Wang Yonghong was to be in charge of more detailed organization of this activity, whereas Sun Hanhui was to invite journalist to surround and observe the proceedings. Later, Li Gang, Yuan Dong, Wang Yonghong et al met in the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Xidan Department Store to discuss the details of the planned banner display in Chaoyang Park on January 27, and went to inspect the location. On January 27, 2013, while walking in the park, Li Gang, Yuan Dong et al, unfurled the banners which had been made in advance and provided by Xu Zhiyong, drawing a large crowd of onlookers. When the bureau’s people’s police officers arrived to stop them, Yuan Dong impeded their law enforcement by running off. After doing so, he later returned to the South Gate of Chaoyang Park to again display the banner. He struggled with the officers for the banners and resisted their enforcement of law, seriously disrupting order in a public place. After the aforementioned persons were educated and advised to leave by the people’s police officers, Li Gang once more drove Yang Dong to the West Gate of Tsinghua University to continue unfurling banners and again drew a large crowd of onlookers, seriously disrupting order in a public place. After the incident, relevant persons involved in the case uploaded pictures of the process to the internet, seriously disrupting order in a public place and order of the public space on the internet.

2. On February 23, 2013, Ding Jiaxi, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng et al went to Zhongguancun eWorld Plaza, Hailong Building, and other places to display banners which had been made and provided in advance by Xu Zhiyong et al. During this time, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng et al went topless and had written across their upper bodies “Disclose [your] assets or step down and get lost”, “Disclose citizenship”,*** and other slogans. This drew a large crowd of onlookers and seriously disrupted order in a public place.

3. On February 23, 2013, after the activity concluded, Ding Jiaxi et al decided to continue the illegal activity of displaying banners the next day. At a same-city dinner gathering**** that night, Ding Jiaxi continued to instigate displaying banners at Zhongguancun the next day. On February 24, Ding Jiaxi, Zhang Baocheng, Yuan Dong, Li Gang et al once again went to Xin Zhongguan [The Gate], the east gate of Peking University, the west gate of Tsinghua University, and other locations where they displayed banners and distributed several hundred leaflets to onlookers. These drew large crowds of onlookers. Furthermore, Ding Jiaxi later uploaded pictures of the process described above onto the internet, seriously disrupting order in a public place and order of the public space on the internet.

4. On March 9, 2013, Ma Xinli, Li Huanjun, Zhang Baocheng, Yuan Dong et al headed to Zhongguancun Plaza in front of the Carrefour entrance, and displayed the banners which had been made in advance and provided by Xu Zhiyong et al. Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng et al used coarse language in the process of unfurling the banners, saying that “the nation is not the Communist Party’s private garden” and “we demand the leaders disclose their assets and their children’s citizenship”, as well as insults about National People’s Congress Representatives. They also unfurled a banner with a picture of a “Wang Ba” tortoise***** and wandered around the area with it, and Ma Xinli went topless, causing a large crowd of onlookers to gather. Afterwards, Hou Xin, Zhang Baocheng et al uploaded pictures of the incident to the internet, seriously disrupting order in a public place and order of the public space on the internet.

5. On March 31, 2013, Hou Xin, Zhang Baocheng, Yuan Dong et al, having conferred in advance, assembled people including Ma Xinli, Zhou Xiaoshan, Cao Shangbin, and Zhang Ran to go to Xidan Culture Square. There, they displayed banners which had been made in advance and provided by Xu Zhiyong et al, made speeches over a megaphone, distributed leaflets, and took photographs and videos, causing more than a hundred onlookers to gather. They then refused to obey police and security personnel’s discouragements, seriously disrupting order in a public place.

The evidence affirming the facts stated above is as follows:

The suspect’s statements, accomplices’ statements, witness testimony, record of remote inspection and review, appraisal of electronic evidence, physical evidence, documentary evidence, audio-visual materials.

To summarize the above, the criminal suspect Xu Zhiyong used topics such as asset disclosure and education equality to organize, plan, and carry out a series of unlawful and criminal activities such as displaying banners and distributing leaflets in public places, and organizing to cause disturbances in front of state organs, and, during this time, defied and obstructed national public security management personnel in the lawful performance of their duties, seriously disrupting the order in a public place. His actions have violated Article 291 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, involving the crime of organizing a crowd to disrupt the order in a public place. In accordance with the provisions of Article 160 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, this case is hereby transferred for review for indictment.

Sincerely submitted to

Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate, No. 1 Branch

 

Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau

December 4, 2012

Translators’ Notes:

* One of several campaigns of the New Citizens Movement. In the Beijing Municipality, as in other regions of China, children who do not hold a Beijing household registration are not permitted to attend regular schools or take the university entrance exam locally, which can be an issue for children of migrant workers who join their parents as they travel to work in Beijing. For more information, see “School for Migrant Worker’ Children Closed,” Xinhua News Agency, August 17, 2011, http://www.china.org.cn/china/2011-08/17/content_23226973.htm; Su, Jiapeng, Xia, Yihua, and Xie, Jiaxi [苏嘉鹏、夏以华及谢佳熹], “Quarrelling Fiercely, But Not About the Same Things” [吵得很激烈,但谈的不是一回事儿], Southern Weekend [南方周末], October 25, 2012, http://www.infzm.com/content/82250.

** One of several campaigns of the New Citizens Movement, calling on officials to disclose their assets is ostensibly in line with the national anti-corruption campaign. For more, see, Hayashi, Nozomu, “Activist Arrested as China Stifles Calls for Asset Transparency,” The Asahi Shimbun, May 10, 2013, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/china/AJ201305100089; An, Baijie, “Anti-graft Body Pushes Officials to Disclose Assets,” China Daily, December 3, 2013, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-12/03/content_17146640.htm.

*** For more information on calls to disclose the citizenships of officials’ family, see “China Increases Oversight of Officials Whose Spouse, Children Emigrate Overseas,” Xinhua News Agency, July 26, 2010, http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90883/7079589.html.

**** For more information on same-city dinner gatherings, see Xiao Guozhen, “What Is a ‘Same-city Dinner Gathering?’”, China Change, September 22, 2013 http://chinachange.org/2013/09/22/what-is-a-same-city-dinner-gathering/

***** “Wang Ba” (王八) is one of many words for the tortoise, but it also is an expletive referring to a cuckolded man.

(Translated by a group of friends. NOT a ChinaChange.org translation.)

 

 

Related reading:

The Last Ten Years, by Xu Zhiyong, in which he reviews, among other things, how the equal education rights movement started, its triumphs and regrets.

Watch a video of the March 31 event in Xidan on youtube (in Chinese).

“A blow for freedom: The campaign in memory of Sun Zhigang, 10 years on”

 

 

Chinese/English bilingual version

Citizen’s Statement Regarding the Arrest of Ten Advocates for Demanding Disclosure of Officials’ Assets

 

Citizen (公民), formerly known as Gong Meng or Open Constitution Initiative, and founded by some of China’s preeminent rights lawyers, is a NGO based in Beijing that provides legal assistance to the disempowered and promotes the New Cititzens’ Movement. Read the original here

From what we know and have learned, we believe that Yuan Dong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing and the seven others who demanded public disclosure of officials’ personal wealth are innocent. In recent days, however, the Chinese authorities have announced the formal arrest of the ten one after another. With astonishment, we state:

1. The Personal Expressions of the Ten Citizens Do Not Constitute a Criminal Offense

On March 31, 2013, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng, Ma Xinli, Hou Xin and two others unfurled banners in downtown Xidan plaza, Beijing, calling for officials to publicly disclose their personal assets. Ten or so minutes later, they were taken away by police, and later, four of them were criminally detained on charges of “illegal assembly.” According to Article Two of the Law of the People of the People’s Republic of China on Assemblies, Processions and Demonstrations, “assembly” refers to  “an activity in which people meet at a public place in the open air to express views or aspirations.” Assembly differs from average expressions in that assembly must be a collective expression through a gathering of a certain number of people. For example, Hong Kong’s Public Order Ordinance stipulates that collective expression of views by more than 50 people require a notice of intention. On that day, only four people were there holding the banners while Yuan Dong gave a speech. The others on the scene were onlookers, not participants of an organized event. The five were simply expressing their personal views by exercising their right to free expression and right to “criticize and make suggestions regarding any state organ or functionary” conferred by Article 35 and Article 41, respectively, of the Constitution. Their action does not constitute an assembly in legal term, and there were no such things to speak of as “disobeying an order of dismissal” and “seriously undermining the social order,” elements of the offense of illegal assembly as defined by Article 296 of the Criminal Law.

Of the ten arrested for advocating asset disclosure by officials, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, Sun Hanhui, Wang Yonghong, Li Wei, Qi Yueying didn’t appear on the Xidan scene on March 31, nor were any of them the person-in-charge of that event or directly responsible for it. Some of them had similarly expressed their personal views in other locations in Beijing, but again, none had “disobeyed an order of dismissal” or “seriously undermined the social order,” elements constituting a criminal offence, nor had they been stopped or penalized by the Public Security officers. Their actions cannot possibly constitute illegal assembly or the offence of “provocation and disruption.”

2. The Ten Advocates’ Call for Asset Disclosure by Officials Also Reflects the Universal Norm and the Will of the People  

Fighting corruption is every government’s responsibility. Mr. Xi Jinping has also vowed to “shut power in the cage of regulation.” Although Chinese government has been talking about fighting corruption every year, and has indeed punished many corrupt officials, corruption is becoming more rampant than ever. Everyone recognizes that corruption is a malignant cancer of contemporary China. The root of the problem is the absence of a system capable of checking it. Public disclosure of officials’ personal assets is an effective anti-corruption mechanism, and 137 countries and areas around the world have established or implemented asset disclosure policies.

Out of their sense of responsibility as citizens, the ten advocates stood up to call for asset disclosure by officials. In March they held a discussion to draft a proposal for related laws, hoping to promote the establishment of a mechanism in an incremental way. Unfortunately, instead of adopting their suggestions, the government put them in jail. On the one hand, this is persecution of the healthy elements that work to build a civil society, and on the other it discredits the anti-corruption promises made by China’s top leaders.

3. We Therefore Make the Following Appeals:

We first appeal to the Chinese authorities: Please mend this mistake by respecting the rule of law in this case, recognize the innocence of the ten men and return their freedom through proper legal procedures, and provide necessary compensation to them. Mr. Xi Jinping once pledged to “carry out judiciary justice in each and every individual case,” and we hold him to his word. We will watch every detail in the development of this case concerning the ten men arrested for advocating asset disclosure by officials to see if that pledge was made in good faith. We will then decide whether we can pay any respect at all to the relevant authorities. We thereby urge the relevant authorities: The trial of the ten citizens must be independent, public, fair, and meeting all the requirements of judiciary justice.

We also appeal to the public: Please pay close attention to the ten citizens’ case. Rights exist for all or for none. Violating one citizen’s rights violates every citizen’s rights; those whose rights are trampled are not far away from us, and their fate is closely related to our own fate.

Finally, we must appeal to both Chinese and foreign media: Please fulfill your obligation as reporters, zoom in on the case of the ten citizens, ask questions about every detail and every procedure, and report the truth without trepidation.

We solemnly promise: We stand together with Yuan Dong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing and rest of the ten citizens to continue to push for asset disclosure by officials. At the same time, we will hold ourselves to our aspiration of being a real citizen, and we will begin to change our country and society by changing ourselves for the better. We will not give up no matter what difficulties await.

Citizen Xu Zhiyong (许志永)

Citizen Xiao Shu (笑蜀)

Citizen Wang Gongquan (王功权)

Citizen Teng Biao (滕彪)

Citizen Liu Weiguo (刘卫国)

Citizen Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵)

Citizen Liang Xiaojun (梁小军)

Citizen Li Fangping (李方平)

Citizen Xiao Guozhen (肖国珍)

May 25, 2013

Related reading:

More Citizens Detained in China for Demanding Public Disclosure of Officials’ Personal Wealth

Appeal to Immediately Free Seven Citizens Criminally Detained for Calling for Asset Disclosure

More Citizens Detained in China for Demanding Public Disclosure of Officials’ Personal Wealth

Four activists in Xidan, Beijing, on March 31.

Four activists in Xidan, Beijing, on March 31.

Following earlier detentions in Guangdong and Beijing, on April 27, another ten activists in Xinyu, Jiangxi (江西新余) were taken into police custody for demanding that government officials disclose their assets. Since then, seven of them have been released but Liu Ping (刘萍), Wei Zhongping (魏忠平) and Li Sihua (李思华) are still been held.

According to Beijing-based rights lawyer Li Pingfang, those who were released gave accounts of being slapped in the face, wearing shackles, and being locked in iron cages. They said that the police interrogation focused on their participation in advocating asset disclosure by officials.

For days, Liu Ping’s daughter, a college student, has been visiting the Public Security authorities for the detention notice that, by law, the family is supposed to receive but has never been provided.

From a Weibo post on May 7th by Zhang Xuezhong (张雪忠), Liu Ping’s lawyer who teaches law at East China University of Political Science and Law, we learned that Liu Ping has been criminally detained for allegedly “subverting state power.” Mr. Zhang visited the detention center in Xinyu on Tuesday morning, submitted Power of Attorney letter and a request for meeting his client, but his request was declined without an explanation.

He told the local public security authorities that “Liu Ping is merely an ordinary laid-off worker. If she were charged with subversion just because she stated some plain truths out of a sense of justice, it would cause a public outcry, not to mention that it will cast a shadow on the new administration for which people have some expectations.”

Liu Ping

Liu Ping

In 2011, Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua campaigned in the election of people’s representatives in Xinyu as independent candidates. They were met with all manners of harassment and suppression, including forced disappearance, beatings and other forms of torture, passport confiscation, home searches, and seizure of personal objects.

The recent detentions in Xinyu are part of a wave of arrests across China over recent months. They are aimed at stamping out more visible citizen activism that has been on the rise. On March 31, four Beijing residents unfurled banners demanding that officials publish their assets as the Party has been promising for 30 years. They were taken away by police on the spot and subsequent detained for “illegal assembly.” A video posted on You Tube shows the protest scene in Xidan, a downtown commercial district only a couple of miles from the Tian’anmen Square , and the man who is giving a speech about the need to push for asset disclosure is Yuan Dong (袁冬), a stock brokerage manager and a regular participant in citizen dinner gatherings.

From April 15 to 17, four more Beijing residents, who held the similar demonstrations in other locations in Beijing, were detained on the same charges of “illegal assembly”. Around the same time, it was confirmed that another two were detained for the same reason. That brings the total number of detentions to ten for anti-corruption activism (one of them on bail due to poor health).

The Beijing Ten are: Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜), Zhao Changqing (赵常青), Sun Hanhui (孙含会), Wang Yonghong (王永红), Ma Xinli (马新立), Zhang Baocheng (张宝成), Yuan Dong (袁冬), Hou Xin (侯欣), Li Wei (李蔚), Qi Yueying (齐月英). Brief bios of eight of them can be found here (link in Chinese).

On April 26, a group of lawyers representing some of the detainees issued a statement entitled “No Crime Was Committed to Peacefully Call for Public Disclosure of Officials’ Assets” to appeal for withdrawing the case against the ten citizens.

A decision on whether the first four, detained on March 31, will be formally arrested is due on Wednesday, May 8. If tried, they could face up to five years in prison.

Also in April in Guangdong, several netizens were given 10-20 days of detention for holding signs, or unfurling banners, in public, that promote democracy and human rights, or condemn the dictatorship of the communist party.

One of the activists, Liu Yuandong (刘远东), was formally arrested on April 3, as his wife was notified, but an activist in Guangdong told SRIC that the family has yet to receive the notice of arrest despite repeated requests for it. It is unknown then with what Liu Yuandong has been charged, but relatives and friends said the authorities had been investigating his finance and tax records, likely to trumpet money-related charges against the businessman-turned-dissident.

Readers might wonder why the Chinese government is targeting citizens engaged in anti-corruption activism. Hasn’t Xi Jinping himself been vowing to crackdown on rampant graft inside the party? Dissident intellectuals pointed out that the regime is not afraid of what you say, no matter how strong; however, it is fearful of any form of organization and collective activities, and it has been cracking down harshly on these street demonstrations and also regular dinner gatherings of like-minded citizens known as “same-city dining and getting drunk” (tong cheng fan zui, 同城饭醉).

In Beijing, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, there have been reports of security police preventing such parties from occurring by temporarily detaining participants in the police stations, keeping them from leaving home, or making threats. In some cases, security police sat next to the parties watching them.

A recent study of censorship in China, conducted by a team of Harvard scholars, reached similar conclusion: “Censorship is oriented toward attempting to forestall collective activities that are occurring now or may occur in the future—and, as such, seems to clearly expose the government’s intent,” the article says.

Related reading:

Appeal to Immediately Free Seven Citizens Criminally Detained for Calling for Asset Disclosure

Sources:

https://freeweibo.com/weibo/3572572626649859

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/05/blog-post_4275.html?spref=tw

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2011/12/blog-post_6537.html

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-post_471.html

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-post_9061.html

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-post_8134.html

http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-post_4432.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/world/asia/china-expands-crackdown-on-anticorruption-activists.html

Appeal to Immediately Free Seven Citizens Criminally Detained for Calling for Asset Disclosure

By Xu Zhiyong, Xiao Shu, Teng Biao, et al.

April 18, 2013

As of noon today (April 18, Beijing Time), at least seven citizens in Beijing have been criminally detained for demanding asset disclosure by government officials. Around noon today, the family of Mr. Zhao Changqing (赵常青) received a notice that he had been criminally detained. Around eight o’clock last night, lawyer Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) was taken away for a criminal summons on allegations of “illegal gathering.” Also last night, Mr. Sun Hanhui (孙含会) was criminally detained. And before him, on the evening of April 15, Mr. Wang Yonghong (王永红) was criminally detained, both on allegations of “illegal gathering.”

Earlier on March 31, four citizens—Yuan Dong (袁冬), Zhang Baocheng (张宝成), Hou Xin (侯欣) and Ma Xinli (马新立) –were criminally detained after displaying a banner in Xidan (西单, downtown Beijing about two miles west of the Tian’anmen Square) calling for officials to disclose their assets.

On December 9, 2012, Sun Hanhui, Ding Jiaxi and dozens of other citizens initiated the campaign to call for China’s 205 top officials to disclose their assets, and the campaign has since collected over 7,000 signatures that, along with a written proposal, were submitted to the National People’s Congress during the Two Sessions in March. Carried out by the Public Transportation Security Bureau of the Beijing Public Security Bureau, this wave of detentions appears to be targeting the four citizens who demonstrated in Xidan.

The public is indignant about the gross and epidemic corruption in China. The central government has vowed repeatedly to rein it in, but has not taken effective measures to do so. It is completely legitimate for citizens to call for disclosure of officials’ assets, and citizens have the freedom of expression, guaranteed by the Constitution, to voice their demands by displaying banners. The government has promised asset disclosure for over 30 years. While they have not made good on their words, they are now trying to charge citizens who push for it. How is it a crime for citizens to fight corruption?

In most of the democratic countries with rule of law, it has long been a norm for government officials to declare their assets. But in China, citizens, like Yuan Dong, Ding Jiaxi, Sun Hanhui, Wang Yonghong, Zhao Changqing, are being detained for demanding it. Is this what the so-called “China Dream” is all about?

State power cannot deprive citizens of their right of free expression granted by Article 35 of the Constitution. We resolutely demand the immediate release of Yuan Dong, Ma Xinli, Zhang Baocheng, Wang Yonghong, Li Wei, Sun Hanhui, Ding Jiaxi, and Zhao Changqing, the seven citizens (Hou Xin is out on bail due to a heart condition) who have participated in calling for Chinese government officials to disclose their assets.

Please join us to sign the appeal by sending your name, profession and city of residence to the asset disclosure campaign mailbox caichangongshi2013@gmail.com.

Xu Zhiyong 许志永, Doctor of Law, Beijing

Xiao Shu 笑蜀, journalist, Guangzhou

Wang Gongquan 王功权, entrepreneur, Beijing

Teng Biao 滕彪, Doctor of Law, Beijing

Liu Weiguo 刘卫国, lawyer, Jinan

Fu Yonggang 付永刚, lawyer, Jinan

Zhao Yonglin 赵永林, lawyer, Tai’an

Zhou Xingyuan 周兴远 , lawyer, Shanxi

Guo Lianhui 郭莲辉, lawyer, Jiangxi

Liang Xiaojun 梁小军, lawyer, Beijing

Li Xiongbing 黎雄兵, lawyer, Beijing

Ai Xiaoming 艾晓明, scholar, Guangzhou

Hu Jia 胡佳, citizen, Beijing

The Chinese original is being circulated widely on Weibo and Twitter. Here is the link to the version Yaxue published via google docs.