China anti-corruption activist Zhao Changqing on trial
Why is Beijing cracking down on peaceful civil movements?
Changqing wrote a dozen or so articles regarding Charter 08. In 2009 in an article entitled The Charter 08 and My Love, he wrote that “democracy, freedom, human rights, and rule of law” was the “first love” of his political life, and he has never wavered from it. “I embraced this love 20 years ago,” he wrote, “20 years later, I embrace it even more enthusiastically!”
Zhao Changqing is a human rights defender who has been imprisoned four times as a result of his activities promoting democracy, political reform and fighting corruption. He participated in the 1989 democracy protests and after the violent crackdown he atttempted to collect evidence about the shootings. He was beaten and detained for four months. In 1998 he was sentenced to three years in prison for 'endangering state security' after running as an independent candidate in local elections. After initiating a petition for political reform in 2002, he was sentenced to five years in prison for 'inciting subversion of state power'. In 2014, he was sentenced once again to imprisonment, this time for 2.5 years for his involvement with the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of individuals campaigning for greater transparency among Chinese Communist Party officials, greater equality within the education system as well as for Constitutional Government.