滕彪文集
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滕彪文集
·无国界记者:对刘晓波诽谤者的回应
·有些人在法律面前更平等(英文)
·法律人与法治国家——在《改革内参》座谈会上的演讲
·貪官、死刑與民意
·茉莉:友爱的滕彪和他的诗情
·萧瀚:致滕彪兄
·万延海:想起滕彪律师
·滕彪:被迫走上它途的文學小子/威廉姆斯
·中国两位律师获民主奖/美国之音
·独立知识分子——写给我的兄弟/许志永
·滕彪的叫真/林青
·2011年十大法治事件(公盟版)
·Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Under Assault
·《乱诗》/殷龙龙
·吴英的生命和你我有关
·和讯微访谈•滕彪谈吴英案
·吴英、司法与死刑
·努力走向公民社会(视频访谈)
·【蔡卓华案】胡锦云被诉窝藏赃物罪的二审辩护词
·23岁青年被非法拘禁致死 亲属六年申请赔偿无果
·5月2日与陈光诚的谈话记录
·华邮评论:支持中国说真话者的理由
·中国律师的阴与阳/金融时报
·陈光诚应该留还是走?/刘卫晟
·含泪劝猫莫吃鼠
·AB的故事
·陈克贵家属关于拒绝接受两名指定律师的声明
·这个时代最优异的死刑辩词/茉莉
·自救的力量
·不只是问问而已
·The use of Citizens Documentary in Chinese Civil Rights Movements
·行政强制法起草至今23年未通过
·Rights Defence Movement Online and Offline
·遭遇中国司法
·一个单纯的反对者/阳光时务周刊
·“颠覆国家政权罪”的政治意涵/滕彪
·财产公开,与虎谋皮
·Changing China through Mandarin
·通过法律的抢劫——答《公民论坛》问
·Teng Biao: Defense in the Second Trial of Xia Junfeng Case
·血拆危局/滕彪
·“中国专制体制依赖死刑的象征性”
·To Remember Is to Resist/Teng Biao
·Striking a blow for freedom
·滕彪:维权、微博与围观:维权运动的线上与线下(上)
·滕彪:维权、微博与围观:维权运动的线上与线下(下)
·达赖喇嘛与中国国内人士视频会面问答全文
·台灣法庭初體驗-專訪滕彪
·滕彪:中国政治需要死刑作伴
·一个反动分子的自白
·强烈要求释放丁红芬等公民、立即取缔黑监狱的呼吁书
·The Confessions of a Reactionary
·浦志强 滕彪: 王天成诉周叶中案代理词
·选择维权是一种必然/德国之声
·A courageous Chinese lawyer urges his country to follow its own laws
·警方建议起诉许志永,意见书似“公民范本”
·对《集会游行示威法》提起违宪审查的公开建议书
·对《集会游行示威法》提起违宪审查的公开建议书
·滕彪访谈录:在“反动”的道路上越走越远
·因家暴杀夫被核准死刑 学界联名呼吁“刀下留人”
·川妇因反抗家暴面临死刑 各界紧急呼吁刀下留人
·Activist’s Death Questioned as U.N. Considers Chinese Rights Report
·Tales of an unjust justice
·打虎不是反腐
·What Is a “Legal Education Center” in China
·曹雅学:谁是许志永—— 与滕彪博士的访谈
·高层有人倒行逆施 民间却在不断成长
·让我们记住作恶的法官
·China’s growing human rights movement can claim many accomplishments
·總有一種花將會開遍中華大地/郭宏治
·不要忘记为争取​自由而失去自由的人们
·Testimony at CECC Hearing on China’s Crackdown on Rights Advocates
·Tiananmen at 25: China's next revolution may already be underway
·宗教自由普度共识
·"Purdue Consensus on Religious Freedom"
·Beijing urged to respect religious freedom amid ‘anti-church’ crackd
·“中共难容宗教对意识形态的消解”
·非常规威慑
·许志永自由中国公民梦不碎
·滕彪维园演讲
·Speech during the June 4th Vigil in Victoria Park in Hong Kong
·坦克辗压下的中国
·呂秉權﹕滕彪赤子心「死諫」香港
·【林忌评论】大陆没民主 香港没普选?
·曾志豪:滕彪都站出來,你呢?
·June 2014: Remembering Tiananmen: The View from Hong Kong
·The Strength to Save Oneself
·讓北京知道 要甚麼樣的未來/苹果日报
·否認屠殺的言論自由?
·Beyond Stability Maintenance-From Surveillance to Elimination/Teng bia
·从稳控模式到扫荡模式
·為自由,免於恐懼越絕壑——記滕彪談中國維權路
·就律协点名维权律师“无照”执业 滕彪答德国之声记者问
·法官如何爱国?
·滕彪给全国律协的公开信
·郑州十君子公民声援团募款倡议书
·Politics of the Death Penalty in China
·What sustains Chinese truth-tellers
·在人权灾难面前不应沉默
·From Stability Maintenance to Wiping Out/Teng biao
·自由不是一個禮物,而是一個任務
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Striking a blow for freedom

Striking a blow for freedom: The campaign in memory of Sun Zhigang, 10 years on
   
   Ten years ago three graduates shocked by the custody death of Sun Zhigang sent a petition that led to a significant step towards the rule of law
   .
   Tuesday, 14 May, 2013, 7:42am

   
   Verna Yu
   
   When Xu Zhiyong read a news report in late April, 2003, about a young man who had been beaten to death in police custody, he slumped dumbfounded in front of his computer.
   
   Sun Zhigang, 27, a graphic designer from Wuhan , was picked up by police on March 17, 2003, during a random identity check in Guangzhou, where he worked.
   
   Unable to produce a temporary residence permit, Sun was placed in a custody and repatriation centre. Three days later he was dead after being attacked by staff and inmates.
   
   A postmortem examination showed he suffered extensive bruising to his heart, brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.
   
   Sun's death caused a national outcry and led to angry demands for the scrapping of the regulation that gave police the power to arbitrarily detain people found without urban residency permits in cities. Xu and best friends Teng Biao and Yu Jiang , who had all recently graduated with doctorates in law from the prestigious Peking University, decided they had to take action.
   
   Ten years ago today, they sent an open letter to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, petitioning it to conduct a review of the regulation on the detention and repatriation of non-city residents.
   
   They argued it was unconstitutional because it violated the personal freedom of citizens.
   
   They also hoped their appeal would have a wider impact by creating a precedent for citizen-initiated constitutional reviews, so that other laws and regulations that violated the constitution could be challenged.
   
   The next month, the unthinkable happened. The then premier, Wen Jiabao , announced that the regulation on "the custody and repatriation of vagrants and beggars in cities" would be abolished.
   
   The three academics (from left) Teng Biao, Yu Jiang and Xu Zhiyong on their graduation day. Photo: SCMP Pictures
   
   The move surprised and heartened the young academics. The case also led Xu and Teng into careers in rights activism.
   
   "Then, I was filled with hope and I decided to devote my life to human rights and NGO work," Teng, now a legal scholar and prominent activist, said in a recent interview. "It was the turning point of my life." A decade on, the "Sun Zhigang incident" is regarded as the event that marked the start of the weiquan, or rights defence movement, in which ordinary citizens use the law as a tool to defend their rights through litigation or activism.
   
   It is not clear whether the petition letter played a deciding role in the abolition of the detention and repatriation regulation.
   
   But the three academics believe their proposal helped influence public opinion, putting pressure on the government - particularly after state media were muzzled by censors.
   
   "It was a significant event for the rule of law," Teng said. "The involvement of intellectuals, lawyers, the media and internet users made it an influential incident."
   
   Yu said an important legacy of the incident was the rise in ordinary people's awareness of their rights over the past 10 years.
   
   "The Sun Zhigang incident had a role in promoting the understanding of law and human rights, and the concept of freedom of movement and personal freedom," said Yu, now head of law at Huazhong University of Technology.
   
   "Before, people just thought it was bad that police had beaten someone to death, but didn't think about why it was unreasonable. Nowadays people tend to think injustice happens because of the system."
   
   Xu said the government had not fundamentally shifted its stance on human rights in the past decade. But thanks to the rapid development of social media, public opinion had become a much stronger force and had often forced the government to make concessions.
   
   "The human rights situation has improved … but it's mostly due to social progress, as people's tolerance of [rights abuses] has lessened," he said. "In the past 10 years society has progressed, but the autocratic system has not."
   
   Sun Zhigang's father, Sun Liusong, is consoled by his son, Sun Ziguo. Photo: SCMP PicturesWhile public pressure pushed the government to scrap the detention and repatriation system, Xu, Teng and Yu regret that the government failed to conduct a constitutional review, which could have set a precedent for challenging other unconstitutional laws. Over the past decade, serious cases of rights abuses have continued to emerge.
   
   While some caused a public outcry, not one has pushed the government to abolish other unconstitutional laws and regulations. Teng said that while media attention and public anger could sometimes influence the outcome of victims' court cases, the lack of an established legal procedure meant justice could not be guaranteed.
   
   "You can't always expect a positive outcome," he said. "Sometimes the government will make a concession, but there is no predicting it."
   
   Yu said their success 10 years ago was tempered by the fact that it failed to become a catalyst for sweeping systemic change that would have enabled other unconstitutional laws to be scrapped. "It didn't result in a significant change in the system, so the meaning of the Sun Zhigang case is limited," he said.
   
   Xu and Teng, who vowed to take up the challenge of seeking justice for the underprivileged, have ironically become the victims of official retaliation and rights abuses themselves.
   
   Yu focused on academic research and did not take up rights activities like Xu and Teng. Xu is now under constant police surveillance. He has been confined to his home since last month, when he was barred from travelling to Hong Kong to attend an academic conference commemorating Sun's death.
   
   Since launching the New Citizen social movement - an initiative to push for democracy and basic civil rights - in May last year, he has been subjected to arbitrary house arrest numerous times to prevent him from meeting supporters.
   
   Xu is officially still a law lecturer at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications. But he was barred from teaching after his non-profit legal aid centre, the Open Constitution Initiative - co-founded with Teng, Yu and others - was closed by the authorities in 2009 and he was put in custody for nearly a month.
   
   Observers say the work of the legal aid centre touched a nerve with the authorities because it was a strong force in the rights defence movement, which they fear could threaten their rule.
   
   A Postarticle from May 17, 2003. Photo: SCMP Pictures
   
   It has challenged so-called "black jails", sought rights for petitioners, death row inmates and migrants' children and has helped the parents of babies poisoned in the melamine-tainted milk scandal in 2008 to seek legal redress.
   
   Teng, a law lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law and founder of the NGO China Against Death Penalty, has frequently been harassed for his vocal stance on rights issues.
   
   In 2008, Teng had his lawyer's licence revoked and he was once kidnapped by police, who hooded him and held him for days for his criticism of rights abuses ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
   
   In 2011, in the aftermath of Tunisia's "jasmine revolution", which saw popular revolts overthrow several authoritarian regimes in North Africa, he was detained for 70 days at unknown locations. Most of the time he was handcuffed, deprived of sleep and made to sit in fixed positions for long periods under strict surveillance in curtained rooms.
   
   But Xu and Teng say they have no regrets. "For society to progress, someone has to pay a price," Xu said.
   
   "And of course, it has been worth it - we have helped lots of people in our push for social progress for the past decade."
   
   For example, Xu said his campaign for education rights for migrant workers' children had partially succeeded, after they were allowed to take university entrance examinations in the cities where their parents worked, with the exception of Beijing and Shanghai.

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