OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #5820 2481039
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O 051039Z SEP 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1545
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIJING 005820
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP AND DRL NSC FOR ABRAMS/WILDER
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/2032 TAGS: PHUM PGOV KOLY CH SUBJECT: HUMAN RIGHTS: DISSIDENT LU GENGSONG'S ARREST PROMPTS PUBLIC LETTER SIGNED BY 1,000 INTELLECTUALS
REF: A. BEIJING 5187
B. GUANGZHOU 962
Classified By: Political Internal Unit Chief Dan Kritenbrink. Reasons 1.4 (b/d).
1. (C) On August 27 more than 1,000 Chinese intellectuals and activists issued an open letter addressed to President Hu Jintao and delegates to the 17th Party Congress calling for the release of Zhejiang dissident writer Lu Gengsong and other jailed activists nationwide. According to lawyer Li Jianqiang (strictly protect), Lu's wife was allowed to visit the local Public Security office in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province to apply for bail on behalf of her husband but has been restricted from traveling to Beijing to lobby for her husband's release. Well-known human rights lawyer Mo Shaoping has reportedly agreed to take Lu's case. This marks the fourth open letter in recent weeks issued to Chinese leaders in conjunction with major upcoming events such as the October Party Congress and next year's Olympics. End Summary.
Call for Lu's Release, Honoring Promises to World
2. (U) On August 27 more than 1,000 Chinese intellectuals and activists issued a public letter addressed to President Hu Jintao and delegates to the upcoming 17th Party Congress calling for the release of detained Zhejiang dissident writer Lu Gengsong. Lu, a former Zhejiang Police College professor, was reportedly detained August 24 on charges of "illegally obtaining State secrets" and "inciting subversion." The letter, entitled "Please make good on the nation's promises to the world," calls on the Chinese Communist Party to honor its constitutional pledge to rule the country according to law and respect human rights, as well as its vow to "give the world a pleasant surprise" in hosting the Olympic Games. That "surprise," the letter charges, was not supposed to include clamping down on free speech, censoring the media or restricting internet access. The letter also calls for the release of a long list of other prominent detained dissidents nationwide, including Chen Guangcheng, Guo Feixiong, Shi Tao and others.
3. (C) Activist lawyer Li Jianqiang (strictly protect) told Poloff August 31 that Lu's wife, Wang Xue, went to the local Public Security office in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province to apply for bail on behalf of her husband. The application has yet to be adjudicated. Li said Wang is allowed to leave her home, but a local official in Hangzhou told Wang she could not travel to Beijing to lobby for her husband's release. Well-known human rights lawyer Mo Shaoping has reportedly agreed to take Lu Gengsong's case after Lu's daughter, Lu Piaoqi, visited Mo in Beijing on August 26. Li Jianqiang told Poloff that a local Hangzhou Public Security contact reported that local police are "very nervous" about the public letter. Li estimates Lu Gengsong's case will go to court in three months.
Fourth Open Letter in Recent Weeks
4. (C) This marks the fourth open letter in recent weeks issued to Chinese leaders in conjunction with major upcoming events such as the Party Congress in October and next year's Olympics. On August 8, 39 mainland Chinese activists, lawyers, scholars, writers and journalists signed an "open letter" calling on PRC leaders to make good on their stated objective of hosting a "humane" Olympics (ref A). Separately, Yang Chunlin, a farmer from Heilongjiang Province, reportedly gathered signatures from over 10,000 other farmers in support of a letter entitled "Not Olympics, but Human Rights," resulting in his formal arrest on August 13 on charges of "subverting State authority." Meanwhile, Zhang Qing, wife of jailed democracy activist Guo Feixiong, recently wrote a public letter to President Hu Jintao (ref B), complaining of Guo's unfair treatment in prison and the prosecution's use of false witnesses during the trial. Randt