A few days before the Jasmine Rallies called for by Chinese organizers to be held in 23 cities on Sunday, February 27, the Chinese authorities have charged many activists with serious state security crimes, including “subversion of state power” and “inciting subversion of state power.” Those charged include three Sichuan activists: public intellectual Ran Yunfei (冉云飞), rights activists Chen Wei (陈卫), and Ding Mao (丁矛); Jiangsu rights activist Hua Chunhui (华春辉); and Harbin-based blogger Liang Haiyi (梁海怡), who goes by the penname Miaoxiao (渺小).
“These politicized charges are intimidation efforts by the Chinese authorities to discourage participation in these Jasmine Rallies” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China (HRIC). “They are the actions of a regime running scared. Now is the time for the international community to demonstrate its principled support for the Chinese people as it has recently done for the people of the Middle East at their critical moment.”
HRIC calls on leaders of the international community to take action and speak out against the draconian crackdown underway in China and to support fundamental rights, including freedom of association and expression. HRIC further urges the foreign community in China to at least bear witness to the Jasmine Rallies, and perhaps be citizen reporters for a day.
For more information on the Jasmine Rallies and the subsequent crackdown, see: