Many Global Voices readers have asked what they can do to hasten our friend and colleage Hao Wu's release from detention in Beijing. Hundreds of you have put badges on your blogs and webpages to call attention to Hao Wu's detention, and this support has helped generate media interest in the situation.
We'd hoped that media pressure would lead to Hu Jintao to release Hao prior to his upcoming meeting with President Bush. Unfortunately, this looks increasingly unlikely. So today we're launching a letter-writing campaign and a petition to ask for Hao's immediate release.
Rebecca launched the letter writing campaign earlier today, and we're encouraging readers to write to their national governments, to the Chinese ambassadors in their nation, to their local newspapers, and to Chinese President Hu Jintao. Her post offers key pieces of information to include in letters or op-eds as well some useful addresses.
We've also launched an online petition, demanding that President Hu Jintao release Hao immediately.
The text of the petition reads:
We, the undersigned concerned citizens of the world, protest the detention without charge of Chinese filmmaker and blogger Wu Hao and call on the Chinese government to release him immediately.
Mr. Wu, a Chinese citizen and U.S. permanent resident alien known in the United States as “Hao Wu”, recently returned to live in China and produce independent documentaries. He was detained on February 22nd without being charged with any crime. Authorities have not given Wu Hao's family an explanation for the detention despite numerous inquiries. According to China’s own Code of Criminal Procedure, a person cannot be held without charge or arrest for more than 37 days. His detention has substantially exceeded that period of time.
It is our understanding, based on speeches by China's own leaders, that China aims to be a country governed by the rule of law. The detention of Mr. Wu without charge, and without access to a lawyer, would appear to be highly inconsistent with that aim.
If Mr. Wu has indeed broken the law, a country that respects the rule of law should uphold Mr. Wu's right to legal procedure. His continued unlawful detention is a clear violation of his universally recognized human rights. We ask for his immediate release.
We'd ask anyone reading this post to please sign the petition and pass the URL onto friends who might be inclined to sign it as well. Your email address is required to sign the petition, but it won't be published. If you're able to translate the petition into another language, please let us know – we'd like to make the document available in as many languages as possible.
Thanks for your support and thanks for caring about our friend.