Wen Jiabao, Premier
People's Republic of China
Dear Premier Wen,
A year ago, on the eve of the plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), we sent you a letter urging you launch key human rights legislative and policy reforms, followed up with specific steps to implement these reforms. Such steps would firmly establish respect for human rights as a central feature of China’s ongoing reforms, as part of your stated commitment to promoting social justice and building the rule of law. The letter, dated March 7, 2007, identified 10 key areas on which action was urgently needed, including:
- Ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- Allowing nongovernmental organizations to register freely;
- Ending repression of activists, petitioners and lawyers;
- Narrowing the scope of application for state secrets laws;
- Reversing the practice of censoring the internet and the media; and
- Abolishing rather than reforming re-education-through-labor.
The letter is attached here.
We are greatly disappointed that the NPC and the government have failed to make any progress in these areas over the past year. Such a failure calls into question the government’s commitment to reform.
We urge you not to close this year’s session of the NPC without making progress on these issues, which are crucial to the life and well-being of millions of ordinary Chinese citizens.
In the year of the Olympics, the world is watching China. Now is the time to act.