25 YEARS AFTER TIANANMEN
ASK PRESIDENT XI JINPING TO IMPLEMENT CHINA’S CONSTITUTION !
The “Chinese Spring,” in which millions of demonstrators demanded freedom and democracy, was crushed brutally by the army on 4 June 1989. Twenty-five years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, China’s citizens are still denied fundamental freedoms, including freedom of information.
The official media pump out their propaganda while all journalists are subject to strict censorship. Covering China’s politics, economy and society independently is impossible.
The authorities issue draconian directives to the media on dramatic events such as the attack at Kunming station, while the Communist Party has established a digital censorship system known as the “Electronic Great Wall,” which filters content that conflicts with the official line. China is ranked 175th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. Even this index was the subject of a propaganda bureau circular forbidding any reference to it.
Dissidents, journalists and bloggers are being arrested in the run-up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Website contributor Xiang Nanfu was arrested for “disturbing public order” on 3 May. After disappearing, the well-known dissident journalist Gao Yu was forced to make a “public confession” on central TV on 8 May in order to discredit her. Her crime?
Providing foreign media with ideological documents that embarrassed the party. The government intends to turn the anniversary of the “June 4th incident” into a triumph for censorship and an insult to freedom of information.
Article 35 of the constitution says: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.”
Article 41 says: “Citizens have the right to make (…) complaints and charges against (…) any state organ or functionary (…) No one may suppress such complaints.” Every day, the Chinese authorities and Communist Party ride roughshod over their own constitution.
President Xi Jinping will continue to take the world for a ride as long as he does not apply his own country’s constitution. By signing this petition, call for the release of journalists, bloggers and free speech activists detained in China, especially those held for having mentioned or participated in the 1989 pro-democracy movement.