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Press Advisory: Petitioner Xu Zhengqing Appeal Set for January

December 19, 2005

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Shanghai petitioner Xu Zhengqing, recently sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “creating a public disturbance,” has been granted an appeal set for January.

Sources in China told HRIC that the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court notified Xu’s family that the Shanghai Supreme People’s Court had authorized the hearing, which is expected to take place around January 15.

Xu Zhengqing is a long-time petitioner who has been subjected to constant persecution by the authorities as a result of his outspoken views. In the indictment against Xu, the Shanghai Putuo District Procuratorate alleged that while attempting to commemorate deceased former leader Zhao Zhiyang in Beijing on January 29, Xu caused disorder on a public bus by failing to pay his fare, and later on the train back to Shanghai by shouting that he had been beaten, causing an “incident” that congested the train corridor.

Xu went to trial on September 13, after which the case was adjourned until the morning of October 17, when Xu was sentenced to three years in prison in proceedings lasting only about five minutes.

HRIC has obtained a copy of a statement Xu Zhengqing was able to smuggle out of the detention center where he is currently being held. In his statement, which is appended to the Chinese version of this press release, Xu relates the circumstances behind his arrest and conviction, describes the abuse he suffered at the hands of public security officials on the train back to Shanghai, maintains his innocence and thanks those inside and outside China who have helped and supported him.