Friday, February 25, 2022

Yu Wensheng's Writings Deemed to Have Incited Subversion

Yu Wensheng (余文生) was civil rights lawyer based in Beijing. His clients included Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), another civil rights lawyer who was also convicted of speech-related offenses. Yu was awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law on November 21, 2018.

According to PRC government documents, on January 20, 2018, Yu was detained by the Public Security Bureau of Beijing, Shijingshan Division on suspicion of committing the crime of obstructing an official in the exercise of their duty. On January 24, 2018, he was taken into criminal detention by the Public Security Bureau of Tongshan District, Xuzhou on suspicion of committing the crime of inciting subversion of state power. On the 27th of that month he was ordered placed under residential confinement at a designated location. On April 19, 2018, the People's Procuratorate of Xuzhou authorized his arrest on suspicion of committing the crimes of inciting subversion of state power and obstructing an official in the exercise of their duty.

On June 17, 2020 the Intermediate People's Court of Xuzhou, Jiangsu found Yu guilty of committing the crime of inciting subversion of state power, and sentenced him to a fixed term imprisonment of four years and three years deprivation of political rights. A full translation of the court judgment is available here: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2021/07/709-YuWensheng-Judgment.html.

On December 13, 2020, the High People's Court of Jiangsu rejected Yu's appeal, and upheld the Intermediate Court's judgment.

Below are translations of two of the documents that the PRC court cited as evidence of his inciting subversion. Specifically, the court said:

On the afternoon of October 18, 2017, the defendant Yu Wensheng cooked up the "Lawyer Yu Wensheng's Open Letter" and posted it on "Facebook" and "Twitter." It denigrated our country's Party and State leaders, and repudiated the Party's leadership. On January 16, 2018, Yu Wensheng once again posted that article on "Facebook" and "Twitter." In the early morning of January 18, 2018, Yu Wensheng cooked up the "Yu Wensheng's Open Letter on a Proposal to Amend the Constitution" and published it on "Facebook" and "Twitter," repudiating the organizational form of our country's existing regime and the leadership of the Party and the foundations of the socialist system. 

The lower court's judgment did not provide any analysis explaining why these open letters were not protected speech under either Article 35 or Article 41 of the PRC Constitution, which provide:

  • Article 35. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.
  • Article 41. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions regarding any State organ or functionary.

Proposal to Recall Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and Comprehensively Implement Political Reform

An Open Letter from Lawyer Yu Wensheng

Delegates to the Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of China:

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, China's human rights have deteriorated, the rule of law has regressed, torture has become rampant, and unjust imprisonment has become widespread. The CPC authorities speak of freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law. In reality, China has no freedom, no democracy, no equality, and no rule of law. What it does have are powerful officials and corruption run amuck.

In 2013, the CPC authorities suppressed the "New Citizens Movement" and arrested citizens who demanded "official property disclosure" on a large scale. In 2014, the CPC authorities suppressed the "Hong Kong Occupy Central" movement, and Beijing and Guangzhou conducted sweeping arrests of citizens who "supported Hong Kong Occupy Central." In the "7.09" Incident in 2015, the CPC authorities conducted sweeping arrests of "human rights lawyers" and "human rights defenders." Over the past five years, the CPC authorities have tortured and killed innocent compatriots; in the "Qing'an Incident," "Leiyang Incident", etc., the murderers went unpunished. Over the past five years the CPC authorities have continued to persecute "Falun Gong," burn "crosses," and suppress freedom of belief. Over the past five years "evil laws" have become rampant, with the "National Security Law," the "Cybersecurity Law", etc. oppressing dissenting citizens who would defend their rights, punishing for speaking out, and protecting the interests of the powerful.

Looking back over the 97-year history of the CPC, looking back over the 68-year history of the CPC established government, the autocratic centralization and extreme corruption, who cares about the life and death of the people? The inhumane crimes they have committed are legion!

As the paramount leader of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping has been in power for five years. He has gone against the tides of history, has turned back the clock, has strengthened totalitarian rule, and he is no longer suitable to remain in office. As a Chinese lawyer, Yu Wensheng proposes that the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China should remove Xi Jinping, go with the tides of history, comprehensively implement political reform, build a free, democratic, human rights, and law-based China, and return power to the people.

Lawyer Yu Wensheng

October 18, 2017 in Beijing

Source: Yu Wensheng's Twitter Account - https://twitter.com/yuwensheng/status/952955040574029824

A Citizen's Proposal for a Constitutional Amendment

Yu Wensheng's Open Letter to the Second Plenary Session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China


The CPC Central Committee and Each Member:

Because the CPC has some constitutional amendments brewing for January 18 and 19, 2018, Yu Wensheng, formerly a lawyer of the People's Republic of China who has been engaged in legal work for nearly 20 years, puts forward the following constitutional amendment opinions for the reference of the CCP ruling authorities.

1. It is proposed to delete the "Preamble to the Constitution." The "Preamble to the Constitution" has no actual binding force or actual constitutional significance in the constitution and law, and in practice will create disputes and ambiguities. It is proposed that the relevant content of the "Preamble to the Constitution" has utility be "converted into articles" or included in a "Constitutional Interpretation," with the other content to be deleted.

2. It is proposed that the Chairperson of the State be determined through competitive elections. The State Chairperson is the head of State, and an uncontested election is similar to an appointment. It is not a meaningful election, and lacks any credibility whatsoever for the country, civil society, and other nations throughout the world.

3. It is proposed that the Chairperson of the Military Commission be abolished, and some of its functions and powers be merged into the powers of the Chairperson of the State. It is proposed that the President of the Supreme Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme Procuratorate be nominated by the Chairperson of the State and approved by the National People's Congress. Since the Chairperson of the State, the Chairperson of the Military Commission, the President of the Supreme Court, and the Procurator-General of the Supreme Procuratorate are all elected by the National People's Congress, the way they are elected affects the authority of the Chairperson as the head of state, and is not conducive to the Chairperson's representation of the country internally and externally. The Chairperson of the State should automatically have the highest command of the military, and the abolition of the post of the Chairperson of the Military Commission and its incorporation into the purview of the Chairperson of the State can strengthen military execution and military legitimacy.

4. It is proposed to abolish the Military Commission and that its powers to be merged into the Ministry of National Defense and under the leadership of the State Council. The army is the army of the country, and the army cannot be above the country. As the highest administrative organ of the country, the State Council should lead the army on behalf of the country.

5. It is proposed that a dedicate chapter should be established in the Constitution stipulating a "Party Administration System." Any political party shall register with the State administrative agency (the Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Civil Affairs), any political party must be subject to the State administrative agency, and no political party may be above the highest organ of power (the National People's Congress).

6. It is proposed that the Political Consultative Conference be disbanded as it is without a constitutional basis.

Proposed by: Yu Wensheng

January 18, 2018, in Beijing

Source: Yu Wensheng's Twitter Account - https://twitter.com/yuwensheng/status/953701041396105216

建言中共十九大罢免习近平、全面推行政治体制改革

余文生律师公开信

中国共产党第十九次代表大会各位代表:

自2012年中共十八大以来,中国人权恶化、法治倒退、酷刑泛滥、冤狱横生。中共当局言自由、民主、平等、法治,实际中国无自由、无民主、无平等、无法治,有的是权贵当道、贪腐横行。

2013年中共当局镇压"新公民运动",大规模抓捕要求"官员财产公示"的公民; 2014年中共当局镇压"香港占中"运动,北京、广州大规模抓捕"支持香港占中"的公民;2015年"709"事件,中共当局大规模抓捕"人权律师"人权捍卫者"。五年来,中共当局虐杀无辜同胞,"庆安事件"雷阳事件"等等,凶手逍遥法外;五年来,中共当局继续迫害法轮功"、火烧"十字架",镇压信仰自由;五年来,"恶法"横行,《国家安全法》《网络安全法》等等,打压维权异议公民,依言论治罪,维护权贵利益。

回首中共97年历史,回首中共建政68年历史,专制集权、腐败透顶,哪管人民死活,它犯下的"反人类"罪行,馨竹难书!1

习近平作为中共最高领导人,五年执政,不顺应历史潮流,开历史倒车,强化极权统治,其已不适合继续留任。余文生作为中国律师,建言中共十九大罢免习近平,顺应历史潮流,全面实行政治体制改革,建立建设自由、民主、人权、法治中国,还政于民。

余文生律师
2017年10月18日于北京

关于修宪的公民建议

余文生致中共十九大二中全会的公开信


中共中央委员会及各位委员:

由于中共2018年1月18、19日酝酿修宪,余文生作为从事法律工作近20年的中华人民共和国前律师,提出以下修宪意见,供中共执政当局参考。

一、建议删除“宪法序言”。“宪法序言”在宪法及法律上不具有实际约束力和实际宪法意义,在实际应用上会产生争议和歧义,建议将“宪法序言”的相关有用内容“条文化”或纳入“宪法解释”,其他内容予以删除。

二、建议国家主席差额选举产生。国家主席作为国家元首,等额选举类似于任命,没有任何选举意义,对国家、对公民社会、对世界各国都不具有公信力。

三、建议取消军委主席,其部分职权并入国家主席职权范围;建议最高法院院长、最高检察院检察长由国家主席提名,全国人大通过产生。由于国家主席、军委主席、最高法院院长、最高检察院检察长都是全国人大选举产生,其产生方式,影响了国家主席作为国家元首的权威性,不利于国家主席对内对外代表国家。国家主席应该自动具备军队最高指挥权,取消军委主席职位,并入国家主席职权范围,可以加强军事执行力及军事合法性。

四、建议取消军事委员会,其职权并入国防部,并受国务院领导。军队是国家的军队,军队不能凌驾于国家之上,国务院作为国家最高行政机关,理应代表国家领导军队。

五、建议宪法设专章规定“政党管理制度”。任何政党都应在国家行政机关(司法部或民政部)登记,任何政党都必须接受国家行政机关管理,任何政党都不能凌驾于最高权力机关(全国人民代表大会)之上。

六、建议撤销没有宪法依据的政治协商会议。

建议人:余文生
2018年1月18日于北京 

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...