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Stand up for Chinese democracy

By Gregory Schneider
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 4, 1999
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To the editor,

Today is the 80th anniversary of the May 4 movement in China. Let me reflect and criticize what has gone on in the People's Republic of China. I call for the Chinese government to:

re-evaluate the official verdict on the June 4, 1989, pro-democracy protest and to bring to justice those responsible for the human rights violations committed.

release all prisoners of conscience including those still in prison for their 1989 pro-democracy activities and review the cases of all political prisoners.

put an immediate end to harassment, detention and imprisonment of Chinese citizens exercising their legitimate rights to the freedom of expression, right to association and freedom of religion.

demonstrate the willingness to respect the rights of all Chinese citizens by proceeding quickly to ratification and implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

I also want to laud the late Hu Yaobang as a martyr for democratic reforms in China, which cost him his post as the Head of State in 1987. He died of a heart attack on April 15, 1989 and helped start the pro-democracy demonstrations. While Hu Yaobang was in office, he rehabilitated intellectuals and victims of the anti-rightist movement in 1957 to 1958 and those who suffered under the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976, Hu Yaobang tried to get rid of corruption and other matters while in office.

I disapprove of how the Chinese government handled matters like Hu Yaobang's death and funeral ceremonies. Hu Yaobang should be more revered than Chairman Mao. Mao Zedong is responsible for the murders of 700 million Chinese. Let's stand up for the cause of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations and keep condemning the actions of the Chinese government on the night of June 4, 1989.

Gregory Schneider
Political science and history senior