*** Democracies Online Newswire -  http://e-democracy.org/do ***
***                                                          ***
*** Up to seven posts a week. To join over 2500 subscribers, ***
*** e-mail <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, in message:  sub do-wire   ***



"The use of information technology is vital for the world economy and
social development"
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, at a lecture on Technology, Beijing, 27
February 2002

Since the commercialisation of the Internet in China in 1995, China
has become one of the fastest-growing Internet markets in the world.
The number of domestic Internet users is doubling every six months.

With the introduction of the Internet, news reaches China from a
multiplicity of sources enabling people to form opinions, analyse and
share information and to communicate in ways previously unknown in
China. Lively on-line debate characterised the start of the Internet
in China. However, the potential of the Internet to spread new ideas
has led the authorities to take measures to control its use.

The authorities have introduced scores of regulations, closed Internet
cafes, blocked e-mails, search engines, foreign news and
politically-sensitive websites, and have recently introduced a
filtering system for web searches on a list of prohibited key words
and terms.

Those violating the laws and regulations which aim to restrict free
expression of opinion and circulation of information through the
Internet may face imprisonment and according to recent regulations
some could even be sentenced to death. Amnesty International has
compiled records of 33 prisoners of conscience who have been detained
for using the Internet to circulate or download information.

Further information

China: Internet users at risk of arbitrary detention, torture and even
execution (ASA 17/056/2002)
Report: State control of the Internet in China (ASA 17/007/2002)
List of People Detained for Internet-related Offences in China (PDF

Take action

Yang Zili http://www.bignews.org

Other appeal cases
Jin Haike, Xu Wei, Yang Zili and Zhang Honghai, Prisoners of
Conscience, Beijing

Jin Haike, Xu Wei, Yang Zili and Zhang Honghai, all members of a study
group called the New Youth Study Group (Xin Qingnian Xuehui), were
detained on 13 March 2001. The New Youth Study Group was an informal
group of individuals who met regularly to explore topics related to
political and social reform including the promotion and observance of
democratic voting procedures in the election of village committees.
The Internet was reportedly used by the Study Group to disseminate

All were formally charged with "subverting the state power" on 20
April 2001 under Article 105 of the Criminal Law. A trial was held on
28 September 2001 at the Beijing Intermediate People's Court. This was
adjourned after four hours and no verdict was announced.

Over a year later there still has been no official announcement on the
verdict, and it is unclear where the four are held. If sentenced the
four could receive sentences of up to ten years' imprisonment.

According to the indictment the defendants had proposed changing the
current political regime in China, setting up branch groups and
publishing articles on the Internet, establishing web sites and
distributing information and articles written by the group, in
particular "Be a new citizen, reform China" and "What's to be done".

The defendants' families received the indictment on 19 September 2001,
less than 10 days before the trial. The trial was reportedly attended
by three family members, two other people and the rest of the seats
were occupied by officials. Three of the defendants were represented
by lawyers but Zhang Honghai had no legal representation.

Yang Zili, a writer and computer engineer, is well known in academic
circles for his technological expertise in evading government
firewalls and setting up e-mail accounts that could not be monitored
by the authorities. Yang had his own website entitled, "Yang Zili's
Garden of Ideas" featuring poems, essays and reports by various
authors, with subjects ranging from rural elections to political
reform. The website was reportedly shut down by the authorities soon
after Yang's arrest. Jin Haike is a geophysicist and worked at the
Geological Survey Institute and Xu Wei is a reporter and editor of the
Consumer Daily newspaper. Zhang Honghai is a freelance writer.

Please send appeals for Jin Haike, Xu Wei, Yang Zili and Zhang

Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Jin Haike, Xu
Wei, Yang Zili and Zhang Honghai as prisoners of conscience held for
the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and

Expressing concern that they have been detained for over 18 months,
most of the time incommunicado, and urging that they are given
immediate and regular access to lawyers and their families.
Urging that steps are taken to ensure that everyone in China is able
to use the Internet to receive and transmit their beliefs and opinions
in line with their fundamental human rights to freedom of opinion and

Please send appeals in Chinese, English or your own language to:

Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government
LIU Qi Shizhang
Beijingshi Renmin Zhengfu
2 Zhengyilu
Beijingshi 100744
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Mayor Director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau
MA Zhenchuan Juzhang
19 Qianmen Dongdajie
Beijingshi 100740
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director
Fax: + 86 10 6524 1596

Copies to:

Director of Ministry of Information Industry
WU Jichuan
13 Xichang'anjie
Beijingshi 100804
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director
[EMAIL PROTECTED] Minister of State Security of the People's
Republic of China
XU Yongyue Anquanbuzhang
14 Dongchanganjie
Beijingshi 100741
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Your Excellency

Take further action: Appeal cases

*** Past Messages, Discussion http://e-democracy.org/do ***
*** To subscribe, e-mail:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]          ***
***         Message body:  SUB DO-WIRE                  ***
*** To UNSUBSCRIBE instead, write: UNSUB DO-WIRE        ***

*** Please forward this post to others and encourage    ***
*** them to subscribe to the free DO-WIRE service.      ***
*** Please send submissions to:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]     ***

Reply via email to