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Open Letter on Democracy and Human Rights by Chinese Intellectual Lin Mu

November 4, 2002

Lin Mu, an independent intellectual and former secretary to Hu Yaobang, has released an open letter through Human Rights in China (HRIC) calling on the PRC’s upcoming 16th Party Congress to take significant measures to improve relations between the Party and the people.

In a tense pre-Congress environment under which many intellectuals and dissidents have been placed under tight surveillance, Lin calls for three major developments:

1) The Party Congress should reassess June 4th, rehabilitate Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, release all prisoners of conscience, and allow Chinese citizens currently living abroad to freely enter and leave China.

2) In order to more effectively implement the democratization goals set by the 15th Party Congress, the 16th Party Congress should establish a Legislative Consultative Committee made up of representatives of the Party and experts from the civil sector. This Consultative Committee should be responsible for researching and drafting laws and systems to implement the goals of the 15th Congress, including "Democratic Elections," "Democratic Policies," "Democratic Management," "Democratic Supervision," "Protection of Human Rights" and "Rule of Law." The newly drafted laws would eventually be submitted to the National People’s Congress for approval and implementation.

3) The Party Congress should hold a comprehensive political consultation to gather views and open dialogue with various interest groups, political groups, ethnic minorities and regional groups.

HRIC fully supports Lin Mu’s call for cooperative discussions to promote liberalization, democratization, and public participation. HRIC President Liu Qing points out, "Mr. Lin Mu’s open letter to the 16th Party Congress reflects the rationality and good intentions of China’s political opposition. It only remains to be seen whether China’s current leadership will offer a similarly well-intentioned and rational response for the sake of the Chinese people."

HRIC urges the Chinese government to take advantage of Lin Mu’s open letter to establish a peaceful and cooperative dialogue with the political opposition in order to develop a political system in greater conformity with modern international standards.

For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (English) 212-268-9074
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495