Monday, October 18, 2010

Twenty weeks

That day counter up at the top of the sidebar gets more and more depressing: it's now 140 days that my artist friend Wu Yuren has been cooped up in a Chinese prison, sharing a small cell - and a communal bed - with up to two dozen other prisoners, without benefit of heating or air-conditioning; denied access to his wife and family; denied medical treatment for a serious shoulder injury he sustained during a police beating on the day of his original detention.

I don't think a trial date has yet been officially set (or announced, anyway), but PSB officers involved in the prosecution have intimated that it is likely to happen within the next two or three weeks.

A little while ago, Amnesty International in the USA made Wu the subject of one of its 'Urgent Action' appeals, asking people to write letters of protest to key officials: details here.  Please check that link out and write immediately.


Hopfrog said...

Count me in.

Froog said...

Thanks, HF.

Not sure that it will do much good, but we have to TRY everything we can.

Hopfrog said...

I hear ya man. Its so frustrating but you never know if the right person reads the right amount of letters or something written happens to strike a certain chord with someone, you just never know what can happen. I'll do it for at least no other reason than it makes me feel good, makes me feel I am fighting on the right side, doing SOMETHING, and that makes me feel good.

Its just so hard to wrap one's mind around how so many people on this planet can be so morally corrupted. My countrymen, heck, the whole planet, are just as susceptible to this non-rational and non-just thinking disease. Of course, it comes in different flavors and what is happening to the Charter 08 guys is particularly distasteful.

Forget about the specific points being raised and whether or not they are agreeable. What is the crime here? A group of people are making a written request of their goverment.

How anyone can criminalize them for that or defend the oppressors in the year 2010, its a mystery.

Gary said...

Count me in too. I'll try and get something off by e-mail or fax tomorrow.

Good luck to Wu Yuren.

Froog said...

Thanks, guys.

Of course, you shouldn't mention the possible reasons for his detention in your letters.

I think it quite possibly doesn't have anything to do with his being a Charter '08 signatory, and the people in charge of the case - or the senior officials on the address list, anyway - might well not even know that he is one. But - especially at the moment, following the uproar about Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize - it's probably not going to help his case if this comes to the fore.

Hopfrog said...

I didn't mention it at all in my letters and thanks for informing me of that. I had assumed that it was the underlying reason.

Froog said...

Well, it might be a factor, HF; impossible to know for sure. He'd been getting some unwelcome attention from the secret police since he signed.

However, the more proximate cause, I would think, is his opposition to forced evictions in the 'art village' at Changdian and around the Dashanzi '798' complex, and the protest march about that which he organized on Chang'an Avenue this spring.

Hopfrog said...

Just a quick follow up to help encourage anyone here in the states to get involved. I though it would be a pain to get those letters mailed, but it was painless. The hard part was writing down the addresses on the envelope, man they are long.

Once thats done, its real simple, go to the post office, tell them (if you did one letter for each address listed) 3 are going to China and 1 to DC, they'll look at the addresses, say that'll be 3 bucks, and you'll be on your way. Painless and it might just make a difference.

Froog said...

Thanks, HF.

Given the degree of urgency (we'd like these letters in pre-trial, and the trial might commence any day now), I'd favour fax transmission. However, there is something rather more physically satisfying - and perhaps more effective - about a big pile of envelopes (not least the fact that they get noticed by a lot of ordinary joes in the postal service before they get delivered).