My Statement on Not Seeking an Appeal
On May 13, 2004, after 164 days of illegally prolonged extension since my trial, the panel of judges responsible for the trial and sentencing of my case finally issued its verdict. As I claimed in the court before my verdict was announced, this panel had violated the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China. I consider its “trial” and “sentencing” illegal. In my view, the question of whether or not to appeal doesn’t exist to me. This does not imply that I obey the illegal conviction. I simply refuse to be put on show any longer with the so called “People’s Court.”
Here, I am not commenting on either the so-called “evidence”, “testimony” or “confession” related to my case or the legality of the procedure used to obtain these materials (especially the private correspondence). My lawyer Mr. Mo Shaoping has defended me thoroughly, powerfully and eloquently. I deeply respect Mr. Mo and his assistant Mr. Xie Wei for their professionalism and their sense of justice. From them I have seen a gleam of hope for China’s judicial independence and complete rule by law.
In the meantime, I am also not condemning the inhumane treatment that I have suffered since my arrest on April 27, 2002, such as physical punishment, beatings, long-term solitary confinement, and enforcement of extra restraining devices. I believe that time will help find the best ways to resolve these problems.
Today, what I want to point out are the severe violations of the law and the infringement of my human rights by the Chinese Government.
• The Right of Communication: Since I was arrested, my right of
communication has been violated. However, I believe that the right of free
communication that the Constitution provides every citizen does not change
only because the citizen is suspected of a criminal offense. The Criminal
Procedural Law does not place any restriction on this right. Therefore, to
restrict a suspect’s right of free communication is violating the
Constitution and breaking the law.
• The Right of Defense: The violations of my right of privacy have
certainly and directly influenced my right of defense.
• Open Sentencing: The Criminal Procedure Law, Section 163, stipulates that all sentences must be pronounced publicly. In the so-called “court” with the second “hearing” on May 13, the “presiding judge” abruptly announced that a verdict would be pronounced in court, which gave my lawyer and me no more than twenty-five minutes to respond. My eldest brother, who happened to be in Beijing awaiting news of my second hearing (not verdict), was allowed to sit in on the “verdict” upon a request by my lawyer. The “court” randomly “recruited” to the courtroom five or six individuals, who were observing or awaiting news of other cases. The officials took pictures (maybe also videotaping) to fake the scenes and make the event look like it was conducted publicly. With this approach, any verdict issuance could be essentially non-public. This is merely another wretched trick by the government of a magnificent country.
All those obvious violations by both enforcement and judicial branches occurred at the same time when the Chinese Government has vigorously emphasized the importance of governing the country by and in accordance with law. These violations occurred during and after “respecting and protecting human rights” was written into the Constitution. It has completely demonstrated that not only is it ultimately impossible for my case to have a fair judgment, but also that development of its legal procedures has been illegally manipulated throughout the process. These manipulations were imbued with arbitrary, peremptory, and functional manners. Therefore, I do not acknowledge this verdict and any forthcoming procedures. I will, as always, uphold the principle of non-violence in response to this verdict.
I hope the experience of my case will be the last one in Chinese judicial history. Even if there may be similarly misjudged cases in the future, it would only be errors under rule of law, not a repeat of practice under rule of man.