Avvocati e letterati chiedono la libertà per Liu Xiaobo

Oltre 150 letterati, avvocati ed attivisti per i diritti umani hanno firmato una lettera indirizzata al Presidente Hu Jintao per chiedere la liberazione ti Liu Xiaobo, di cui non si hanno notizie dall’8 dicembre.  

Segue l’articolo in inglese di Associated Press da Pechino.Beijing – More then 150 scholars and rights activists sent an open letter Tuesday to Chinese President Hu Jintao urging the release of a writer who helped draft a statement calling for greater freedoms in the country.   Liu Xiaobo, a former university professor who spent 20 months in jail for joining the 1989 student-led protests in Tiananmen Square, has not been heard from since being taken from his home by police on Dec. 8.

The letter was signed by prominent China scholars, human rights advocates and writers from around the world, including Salman Rushdie, Nadine Gordimer, Wole Soyinka and the board of International PEN.

It asked Hu to ensure the civil rights of citizens and stand by the “rule of law” that the leadership says governs China.

“We urge you to honor your commitment to ensure the civil rights of citizens who peacefully express their views on public affairs,” the letter said.

Beijing‘s Public Security Bureau did not immediately respond to faxed questions and would not take a telephone interview.

Mo Shaoping, a lawyer who is representing Liu, said Liu’s wife had asked police about her husband on Monday but they refused to give her any information. The couple’s home number rang unanswered.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said he did not know the specifics of Liu’s case.

“I can tell you that China runs the country according to law and will handle the relevant issue according to law,” spokesman Qin Gang told reporters at a regular briefing.

When asked to comment about Tuesday’s letter, he would only say that “China firmly opposes any foreign interference in its internal affairs.”

Liu, 53, has been an outspoken advocate for change over the years, writing numerous articles on the Internet supporting his cause. He has also been routinely harassed by authorities and detained for his criticisms but not convicted of any crime.

He was among more than 300 lawyers, writers, scholars and artists who signed “Charter 08” earlier this month, an unusually open call for human rights and democracy and demand for an end to the dominance of the Communist Party.

The statement proposes 19 measures, including a new constitution guaranteeing human rights, election of public officials, freedom of religion and expression, and an end to the party’s hold over the military, courts and government. It also calls for the abolition of the criminal code that allows people to be imprisoned for “incitement to subvert state power.”

Police detained Liu a day ahead of the statement’s release, possibly because they considered him a key organizer of the charter, as well as his role in drafting and revising it, Mo has said.

Other people who signed the statement were summoned or tailed by police but were not detained.

Leggi anche l’articolo del New York times sulla petizione 

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