Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A655-W409

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A655-W409


Release Date: September 17, 2011



Topic: Retrogression of the Legal System in China -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:法制的倒退 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



Note: Please use "Simplified Chinese (GB2312)" encoding to view the Chinese parts of this release.  If this mail does not display properly in your email program, please send your request for special delivery to us or visit:

http://www.weijingsheng.org/report/report2011/report2011-09/WeiJS110917legalretrogressionA655-W409.htm which contains identical information.




Retrogression of the Legal System in China

-- Wei Jingsheng



The U.S. State Department spokesperson issued a statement to a question taken at the August 30, 2011 daily press briefing regarding the Chinese Government's effort to modify its Criminal Procedure Law to legalize enforced disappearance, which is neither consistent with international human rights law, nor consistent with other provisions in Chinese law.  The United States urged the Chinese government to respect Chinese citizens' rights when it makes legal revisions.


Many friends ask: What is enforced disappearance?  From an academic perspective, it is of course is a non-voluntary and forced disappearance.  From an international perspective, the United Nations has a special Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.  Its role is to monitor and criticize those illegal governments and cliques that engage in forced disappearance, in an effort to protect ordinary people against persecution by the rich and powerful.


In other words, the Special Working Group tries to force those officials or powerful groups to comply with the law, and to be reasonable.  If a person is forcefully detained somewhere such that even the family and community do not know his whereabouts, who could tell if the authority or group which holds the person is law-abiding?  Who could interfere with it?  It could reach the degree that nobody knows if or when the person disappeared forever.  Thus, it contributes to lawlessness and encourages treating people as non-human.  Regardless whether a person is good or bad, a civilized society should treat anyone as a person.  This is human rights.


Human rights is not a vague and general theory, but something closely related to the presence of each of us.  To say it bluntly, human rights is about people being counted as animals or not, which is not a trivial thing.  Human rights is like the air; usually you do not feel it is important until you lose it.  Then you can appreciate its vital importance.  This time, the Chinese Communist regime is changing the law actually in open violation of its own laws, by legalizing the illegal detention and enforced disappearance.  This is a huge setback of the Chinese legal system in the past three decades. 


It is a bit like what happened before the Cultural Revolution in China.  First, the law was openly violated, and then gradually society entered the famous "complete lawlessness" state as claimed by Jiang Qing, Mao Zedong's wife.  Not only common people, even various governmental and party officials found it hard to escape this persecution of "complete lawlessness".  There was no place for one to make a rational argument, or even use the sophistry of the Chinese Communist Party.  That was because you simply did not exist.  You had disappeared.


An example back in the Cultural Revolution was Liu Shaoqi.  As the President of China, Liu Shaoqi was also forced to disappear.  No one knew where he was.  No one knew how he was.  Even no one knew when he died.  Only 10 years later when he was "redressed", did we learn that he had been persecuted to death long ago.  Does not the President of a country have a lot of power?  It was useless.  As long as he was forced to disappear, he would not be able to reason with those guards who only care about discipline.  He would be treated as an animal, to be dealt with in whatever way they like.


At least Liu Shaoqi was arrested.  So at least people still knew that he was in the hands of the judiciary, knew that he was in prison.  In 1994, the public security authority in China invented a so-called "residence under surveillance", which is called "forced disappearance" today.   I maybe the first person who was forced to disappear in the name of "residence under surveillance".   At that time, I was detained by the authorities.  They really could not find a suitable accusation.  The Procuratorate did not approve, not only the arrest, but even the detention.  That was because the Communist authorities really failed to provide a legitimate reason, yet they were unwilling to let me go home.  Even though I made repeated requests, they refused to inform my family.  I threaten that I would sue them for illegal detention.


There was no need for ordinary police to bear such a serious charge.  Their superiors had to find a legitimate reason in order to continue my detention without informing the outside world.   The only capacity the Public Security Bureau authority had was the "residence under surveillance".  Thus they offered a piece of "residence under surveillance", but would not let me return to my own residence.  When I strongly protested against this blatant practice of lawlessness, they claimed that the condition of the detention place was no worse than my home.  I strongly urged them to notify my family according to law.  But they responded that since my case had not entered the judicial process, it was unnecessary to carry out the detention according to law.  In short, with the approval of the highest authorities, they could be as unreasonable as bandits.


At that time, I was already under forced disappearance and incommunicado, thus I could do nothing anymore.  Eighteen months later, when my case was sent to the courts, I asked the judge to at least count this eighteen months.  The judge said: since the detention was not carried out according to law, they do not know how to calculate the sentence accordingly.  Thus, my detention became simply a waste of my time.  But, fortunately I was still alive and there were law enforcement agencies that did not agree with the lawlessness of the people who detained me.  So it was not the worst.


The worst came when the Chinese authority published the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law on August 30, 2011.  Now, it is legal to engage in forced disappearance.  Authorities can detain people in secret places without notifying the family and the outside world, to the degree that no one knows even when one is permanently disappeared.  If you are as lucky as Liu Shaoqi, then at least people will know where you once were when your case is redressed 10 years later.  But what if you can never enter the judicial process?  Then you are disappeared forever.  What kind of law is a law that makes it legal to evaporate a person?


This is kind of law that meets the concept of the Chinese Communist Party.  The law of the Communist Party is used to persecute people and to combat the enemy, rather than to set boundaries defining people's interactions and restrict the powerful against innocent civilians.  The elite of the Communist Party who are rich and powerful often accuse people who are defending their rights as unruly people.  In fact, this type of bandit-style legal concept of the Communist Party is the true logic of the unruly shyster and tyrant.


During the almost 20 years since I was forced to disappear, this gangster logic has been inherited and developed.  While the level of the officials detained have not reached to the level of Liu Shaoqi, numerous high and low ranking officials have been illegally detained these years, under a name just like that "residence under surveillance": "double designation".  The Communist Party can illegally detain countless of its members outside of the judicial system, as if one ceases to be a person with legal entity when one joins the Communist Party.  This situation could be described by the now fashionable wording of the Communist Party: Do not take the law as a shield.


The average Chinese are even less than the Communist Party members.  Recently, there is a surge of people under forced disappearance, especially many lawyers.  Further, they are subjected to torture and serious threat.  Not only is there no place to reason with authorities during the detention, one even does not dare to reason when one is released.  There is already no law, but simply a group of kidnappers.  Now, by legalizing this logic of the kidnappers, the regime has become outright bandits.  They really achieved the ideal of Mao Zedong and Jiang Qing: complete lawlessness.


I think that if the Cultural Revolution repeated again, the people will not expect the Communist Party to correct its own wrongs anymore.  The reason may be explained by the old Chinese saying: People will treat their oppressors the way they have been treated.  History cannot simply make the motion of a circle and stay in the same place.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written on September 1 and recorded on September 2, 2011.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



This is a message from WeiJingSheng.org


The Wei Jingsheng Foundation and the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition are dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democratization in China.  We appreciate your assistance and help in any means.  We pledge solidarity to all who struggle for human rights and democratic governance on this planet. 


You are welcome to use or distribute this release.  However, please credit with this foundation and its website at: www.weijingsheng.org


Although we are unable to afford to pay royalty fees at this time, we are seeking your contribution as well.  You may send your articles, comments and opinions to: HCP@weijingsheng.org.  Please remember, only in text files, not in attachments.


For website issues and suggestions, you may contact our professional staff and web master at: webmaster@Weijingsheng.org


To find out more about us, please also visit our websites at: www.WeiJingSheng.org and www.ChinaLaborUnion.org for news and information for Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition and human rights and democracy movement as whole, especially our Chinese Labor Union Base.


You may contact Ciping Huang at: HCP@Weijingsheng.org or

Wei Jingsheng Foundation office at: 1-202-270-6980


Wei Jingsheng Foundation's postal address is:

Wei Jingsheng Foundation, P. O. Box 15449, Washington, DC 20003, USA


You are receiving this message because you had previous shown your interest in learning more about Mr. Wei Jingsheng and the Chinese Democratic Movement.  To be removed from the list, simply reply this message and use "unsubscribe" as the Subject.  Please allow us a few days to process your request.





Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A655-W409

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A655-W409


Release Date: September 17, 2011



Topic: Retrogression of the Legal System in China -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:法制的倒退 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生










































欢迎投稿(暂无稿费)或批评建议,请寄信箱:  HCP@WEIJINGSHENG.ORG



Wei Jingsheng Foundation, P. O. Box 15449, Washington, DC 20003, USA

电话: 1-202-270-6980






倘若阁下希望不再收到类似信息,请回复本信并用 unsubscribe 作为主题(Subject)。