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Demanding Political Reform Is Not a Crime IFC/CPFC Statement on the Chinese Regime’s Persecution of Hu Shigen

Demanding Political Reform Is Not a Crime
IFC/CPFC Statement on the Chinese Regime’s Persecution of Hu Shigen
On August 3, a court of the Chinese Communist regime in Tianjin staged a so-called “open trial” of Mr. Hu Shigen, a 62-year old pillar of China’s democracy movement, and recipient of the Citizen Power Award from Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China (IFC/CPFC), a Washington-based pro-democracy and human rights NGO. After the sham trial, Mr. Hu was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison on charges of subversion of state power. It is clear that Mr. Hu’s trial was a farce perpetrated by the Chinese Communist regime to persecute a true Chinese patriot. Their real aim is to not only stop Mr. Hu’s activities but also to suppress civil society and prevent democratic transition in China in order to maintain one-party rule. IFC/CPFC expresses a strong indignation and issues a severe protest against such a continued and escalated perverse act.
IFC/CPFC notes that one of the charges against Mr. Hu was the fact that he was working with our organization by “dispatching” his followers to participate in our InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference. The court distorted the facts by labeling our conference as a “separatists’ anti-China training”. IFC/CPFC activities are fully transparent and It is well known that IFC/CPFC is a civil society organization committed to promoting China’s peaceful transition to democracy. We have held 11 InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conferences, and our consistent goal is to eliminate hatred, promote reconciliation, and strengthen unity and cooperation among all races, religions, and ethnic groups. We advocate peaceful, non-violent activities to achieve equality, human rights and common development for all ethnic groups in China, which will ultimately transition China from a one-party state to a democracy. The Chinese Communist regime’s attempts to smear our organization will neither change the nature of our group nor weaken our will to fight.  The trial shows that Mr. Hu is a wise and fearless leader. His wisdom lies in his well-thought-out three key components for the country’s successful transition: citizen empowerment, cracks within the ruling elite, international involvement; and his five programs for transition, nation-building, people’s livelihood, reward and punishment. Each of these elements were presented by the government as part of his “plan to subvert the state power.”
As a fearless freedom fighter, Hu was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1992 for founding the Chinese Liberal Democratic Party. After his release from prison in 2008, Mr. Hu defied the government’s brutal attempts to suppress his activities and continued to engage in the pro-democracy movement. Now he has received another seven and a half year sentence for advocating political reform. The regime can lock him up again but it can never stop him. Few people can match with Mr. Hu’s courage and integrity.
Mr. Hu’s crime of “subversion of state power” is a false charge and a false narrative. The fact is that the regime has ruled China for nearly 70 years, during which the party-state is built to gain absolute power to benefit the Communist elites. Anyone can see that it is the Communist regime that stole the country, and subverted a legitimate government. Now the party is the state, and such pseudo-state power has no legitimacy at all. It is a citizens’ right to demand political changes. Mr. Hu’s free speech and the democratic ideas he championed are not a crime but simply the exercise of his basic political rights.
All state power comes from the citizens and the citizens have the right to demand reform of the political system. When Mr. Hu, a Chinese scholar and Christian, advocates democracy and human rights, he is following in the footsteps of many great men before him who chose their paths only with the interest of the greater public in mind. Mr. Hu’s noble sacrifice of his personal freedom will surely benefit generations to come.
IFC/CPFC stands firmly with Mr. Hu. It solemnly declares that demanding political system reform to end one-party rule is not a crime! IFC/CPFC will continue to monitor Mr. Hu’s case and those of other rights defenders who have been detained since the July 9, 2015 mass arrests. We pledge to do our utmost to support and aid Hu Shigen and other heroes.
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