Freed China democracy activist vows to keep up fight

A veteran Chinese political dissident defiantly vowed to advance human rights and democracy in China, just days after completing a 12-year jail term for subversion.

Last Updated: Dec 02, 2010, 20:37 PM IST

Beijing: A veteran Chinese political
dissident on Thursday defiantly vowed to advance human rights and
democracy in China, just days after completing a 12-year jail
term for subversion.

Qin Yongmin was convicted and sentenced to prison in late
1998 after he and other activists sought to officially
register the China Democracy Party. He was released on Monday.
"I will continue to advance human rights -- without human
rights, there can be no democracy. I must do what I must do,"
Qin told a news agency by phone from his home in the central city of
Wuhan.

"As a democrat, this is my life. One day, the China
Democracy Party will be legal in China, but this will take
time."

Upon his release, Qin said police had told him not to
speak with journalists, while several of his supporters who
had hoped to meet him have disappeared and are believed to be
in police custody.

Police also confiscated his prison writings upon his
release, he said.

Qin`s sentence also included three years` deprivation of
political rights, meaning he cannot legally engage in any
political activities during that time.

Qin, believed to be 57, has a history of political
activism and was jailed as a "counter-revolutionary" from
1981-1989 following China`s "democracy wall" period of
political openness.

In 1993, after drafting the "Peace Charter," a manifesto
that called for the re-evaluation of the 1989 Tiananmen
democracy protests and the release of all political prisoners,
Qin was sentenced to two years in a labour camp.

PTI