Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Document of 1989: Fang Lizhi's Open Letter

On January 6, 1989, Fang Lizhi wrote a personal letter to Deng Xiaoping, suggesting a general amnesty for political prisoners. It soon became an "open letter" through foreign reporters in Beijing and drew the curtain of the 1989 student movement.

Chairman Deng Xiaoping
The Central Military Commission

This year is the 40th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. It is also the 70th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement. There will certainly be a lot of commemorate activities for these anniversaries. However, compared to looking back, far more people would perhaps concern about the present more. They are concerning about new hopes these anniversaries could bring for the future.

For this purpose, I sincerely suggest to you that, at the cusp of these anniversaries, a nationwide amnesty is called for, especially to release Wei Jingsheng and all political prisoners like him.

I think that, however one would judge Wei Jingsheng himself, releasing someone like him who had been in prison for 10 years is consistent to the humanitarian principle. It will enhance the social atmosphere.

Coincidentally, this year is also the 200th anniversary of the great French Revolution. No matter how we see that event, the values symbolized by that revolution, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and Human Rights, have become universally respected by the human kind. Therefore, I sincerely appeal to you once again to consider my suggestion, so that we can add on more respect for the future.

Best Regards,

Fang Lizhi

Documents of 1989

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