Article: Five Chinese Law Professors Argue Xu Zhiyong’s Innocence

This seems to be a step ahead from last year..

Five Chinese Law Professors Argue Xu Zhiyong’s Innocence
Five law professors in China issued a joint legal opinion to demonstrate Xu Zhiyong’s innocence.

Chinese legal scholar Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years imprisonment for “gathering crowds to disrupt public order.” The verdict has received strong condemnation. Five law professors in China issued a joint legal opinion to demonstrate Xu Zhiyong’s innocence. Commentators analyze that while the Communist regime found Xu Zhiyong guilty, public opinion finds the regime guilty of violating the law.

Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years imprisonment on January 26. The following day, five academics from China, jointly published an independent review. This included; Professors Gan Peizhong and Peng Bing from Peking University Law School; Professor Yao Huanqing from Renmin University of China Law School; Professor Wang Yong from China University of Political Science and Law; and Associate Professor He Haibo from Tsinghua University School of Law. The review, “why we think he’s innocent” examined the injustice Xu Zhiyong has faced.

It conducted a legal analysis of Xu Zhiyong’s conduct. It considered the peaceful, public demonstrations of opinion at parks, squares and universities. This is part of normal order in such places and concluded that it does not constitute the crime
of ”gathering crowds to disrupt public order.”

The professors argued that advocating making officials property public is a legitimate expression of opinion. Banners and flyers are peaceful means to express these views. No public disorder has been created.

The review indicated that Xu Zhiyong’s case should have been regarded as an example of citizens’ active participation in the regimes politics, rather than being treated as a crime.

Zhang Zanning, Law Professor at Southeast University spoke to NTD. Xu Zhiyong‘s sentence is indeed a shame on the Chinese justice system. It has fully exposed to the world the hypocrisy of the Chinese legal system.

Professor Zhang Zanning: “Xu Zhiyong‘s sentence is tantamount to trampling on China’s constitution and laws. What Xu Zhiyong has done is to uphold the constitution and safeguard the law, but he was sentenced for that. This is a great shame on the Chinese judicial system. Those who sentenced Xu Zhiyong will forever be nailed into history with shame.“

Xu Zhiyong launched the New Citizens’ Movement in 2012. The movement advocated freedom, democracy, rule of law, declaration of officials property, equal education rights, and citizen meal time gathering. This was to bring awareness for citizens to participate in promoting Chinese civil rights. Under his initiative, thousands of Chinese have taken to the streets and participated in these movements.

However, since last year, the founders and participants of the New Citizens’ Movement have been subjected to arrest and prosecution by the Chinese regime. As well as Xu Zhiyong, also accused of disrupting public order are Zhao Changqing, Hou Xin, Liu Yuandong, Ding Jiaxi, Li Wei, Zhang Baocheng, and Yuan Dong.

Xu Zhiyong’s defense attorney Zhang Qingfang believes that Xu’s sentence is the regime’s threat, and a warning to others.

Zhang Qingfang, lawyer: “In the language of the law, they tell the activists not to cross the government’s red line. Regardless of the purpose or goal, street politics will end up with the same fate as Xu Zhiyong, being thrown into jail.“

Law Professor Zhang Zanning points out that the Communist regime has seriously violated China’s constitution and laws. Freedom of speech in the constitution is empty talk.

Zhang Zanning: “The so-called political and legal reform is simply hypocritical and a fraud. It has placed itself in opposition to Chinese citizens. The court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, but the trial was tantamount to judging the violations of the regime. The regime will be subject to liquidation, and abandoned by the people sooner or later.“

The regime’s decision against Xu Zhiyong has caused a strong rebound domestically. It has also received strong criticism from the international community.

The US State Department said in a statement on January 26 that the US was “deeply disappointed.” It called on the Chinese authorities to release Xu and other political prisoners, immediately. It also called to end any restrictions on their freedom of movement, and guarantee them protection and freedom.

Amnesty International said, “the Chinese authorities have once again opted for the rule of fear over the rule of law.” Further, it condemned the verdict as “shameful.”

Human Rights Watch also issued a statement condemning the hypocrisy of the anti-corruption campaign. “When an average citizen takes up the same cause, he’s sent to prison.”