Attivisti diritti umani cinesi: un compleanno infelice

WASHINGTON – I maggiori dissidenti cinesi stanno esortando il mondo a non dimenticare di preoccuparsi dei diritti umani cosi come il Partito comunista cinese si appresta a celebrare i suoi 60 di potere mettendo in vetrina la crescita della nazione

Segue l’articolo de The Straits Times

WASHINGTON – CHINA’S leading dissidents are urging the world not to forget about human rights concerns as the Communist Party marks 60 years in power by showcasing the nation’s growing clout.

China’s military plans a once-in-a-decade military parade on Thursday with more than 50 new Chinese-made weapons, part of elaborate celebrations for a nation that has transformed from global pariah to rising power.

But some of the Communist Party’s prominent critics testifed before a commission of the US Congress on Tuesday, hoping to draw attention to dark sides behind China’s rapid economic growth.

Wei Jingsheng, a former electrician who spent some 18 years in prison after calling for democracy, said that most Chinese workers still lived in dire conditions and lacked ways to express their grievances. ‘We have only two choices – either help these workers and lower-class citizens of China to push for a peaceful evolution or leave it to fall into an unavoidable civil war,’ said Wei, who was exiled to the United States in 1997 after appeals from then president Bill Clinton.

‘We must understand – people cannot be satisfied for a long period of time living simply on the edge of survival,’ Mr Wei told the congressional Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights.

His remarks were echoed by Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in China’s system of labor camps known as ‘Laogai.’ Mr Wu charged that even though US law forbids products made in the Laogai, they were still making their way into the market for lack of compliance. ‘While US trade relations with China are an integral part of the US economy, turning a blind eye to the injustice of the Laogai system that we financially support fundamentally compromises our most basic ideals,’ said Mr Wu, now a US citizen.

The Oct 1 celebrations have sparked a surge in patriotic pride among many of the 17 million residents of Beijing, where President Hu Jintao will mark the anniversary with a keynote speech in Tiananmen Square.

But Shen Ting, a Shanghai-born, Hong Kong-based activist for Chinese seeking redress from the government through petitions, said the festivities were a ‘superficial’ way to cover up realities.

‘The government is staging a celebration to try to trick people and the world,’ she said. Ms Shen urged policymakers in Washington and elsewhere to keep a close eye on next year’s Shanghai Expo, a giant display of technological wizardry that along with last year’s Beijing Olympics are meant to demonstrate China’s new clout.

Ms Shen said that she has been receiving appeals for help from Shanghai residents who are upset with orders to relocate for the Expo. ‘In retrospect, the Beijing Olympics gave China a golden opportunity to show the world that China was making progress,’ she said.

‘But we now realise that on democracy, human rights and freedom, China has made no progress at all and in some respects may actually be turning back.’ Separately, Paris-based press rights group Reporters Without Borders voiced concern about the run-up to the anniversary, saying that government ‘paranoia’ led the authorities to block tens of thousands of websites. — AFP

Appeared on The Straits Times.com, September 30, 2009

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