China dissident wants to meet with chancellor

18th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 May 2006, BEIJING - The Chinese human rights activist Ren Wanding appealed Thursday for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make a case for human rights in his country when she arrives on Sunday for a three day visit.

18 May 2006

BEIJING - The Chinese human rights activist Ren Wanding appealed Thursday for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make a case for human rights in his country when she arrives on Sunday for a three day visit.

In an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Ren, 62, who was imprisoned for 11 years for his activism, said he would like to meet with the chancellor during her visit.

"I hope that I can meet with her," he said. He had informed the German embassy of his interest.

He said he hoped for a "new beginning" with Germany.

"What kind of democratic forces is Mrs. Merkel bringing with her?" Ren Wanding said, and challenged her to discuss human rights on Monday when she meets with President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

"I am hopeful that she will urge the Chinese government to stop persecuting people, to stop putting democracy advocates in jail and to stop arresting their critics," Ren Wanding said.

Democratic forces have been active in China for 27 years, he said, charging that the Communist Party only wanted to secure its own power and reassure the people about their future. He demanded free elections be held immediately.

"How much longer should we wait?" he said.

The civil rights activist belongs to the dwindling number of veterans of the democracy movement who remain in China. He was imprisoned for four years after his actions in 1979, when he gained notice of authorities for publishing his "Declaration of China's Human Rights."

After the bloody reprisals on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, the activist was put in jail for another seven years, and was released in 1996.

He brushes off the uninterrupted surveillance and attempts to intimidate him, and continues his activities on behalf of democratic rights. His political essays and letters are often published abroad.

DPA

Subject: German News

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