Chinese dissident: 'History will judge us fairly'
Calls his trial 'political persecution'December 28, 1998
Web posted at: 11:44 a.m. EST (1644 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) -- Declaring "History will judge us fairly," a Chinese dissident imprisoned for trying to register an opposition party has renounced any plans to appeal his sentence.
Xu Wenli was one of three founders of the Chinese Democratic Party sentenced to lengthy prison terms this month. In a statement written while handcuffed and passed to his wife outside, Xu denounced his trial as a political persecution and rejected any further participation in it -- including any appeals of his 13-year prison term, handed down December 21.
"My so-called open trial was in truth nothing more than a means for political persecution. So I shall not give a fleeting thought to this 'judicial process', or answer any questions put to me by the prosecutor or courts," Xu said.
Political pluralism was "historically inevitable," Xu said. "No individual or political power can prevent this."
Xu signed and dated the statement, then added, "Penned in handcuffs."
Chinese courts passed sentence on the 55-year-old Xu and two other founders of the Chinese Democratic Party last week after summary trials. In addition to Xu, Qin Yongmin was jailed for 12 years and Wang Youcai for 11 years.
"Our original hope was to abandon mutual suspicion with the Communist Party, open up to each other and interact positively," Xu's statement said. "Who would have thought that a small number of Communist Party leaders, keeping at heart a personal interest in one-party rule, would have harmed members of the Chinese Democratic Party?" it said.
Xu's wife said her husband is not allowed books or newspapers, and was hoping for a transfer to a prison where reading was permitted.
But even as Xu's defiant comments were released, Chinese leaders warned of new measures Monday to suppress dissent in some of the vast country's most remote regions.
Raidi, the chairman of Tibet's regional parliament, called for "vigilance against infiltration, subversive and splittist activities" from sources both within and outside China. Tibet is home to an independence movement led by Buddhist clerics, some of whom have been sentenced to long prison terms.
Xinjiang province, home to a Turkish-speaking Muslim population, has been rocked by a series of riots and bombings since last year. China executed 20 people in 1997 for their roles in political violence.
Wang Lequan, the Communist Party secretary in Xinjiang, has vowed to "take the initiative and hit out at the enemy."
China's crackdown has also brought a 10-year sentence for a labor activist accused of passing information to the U.S.- backed Radio Free Asia. Zhang Shanguang was sentenced at a closed-door hearing Sunday for giving details of protests by farmers in the central province of Hunan to the radio network.
"The trial was not at all fair," his wife, Hou Xuezhu, said.
Zhang gave a radio interviewer details of a March protest by about 80 farmers against excessive taxes and of another demonstration in the province that resulted in deadly violence. But Hou said information about the demonstrations was already public knowledge.
China views Radio Free Asia as a U.S. propaganda tool and blocks its broadcasts.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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