To the president of the People’s Republic of China
The Olympic Charter recalls that the spirit of the Games is based on “respect for universal fundamental ethical principles” and aims to place sport “at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity”.
Yet, 7,500 to 8,000 persons are estimated to have been executed in China in 2006, according to information gathered by the US-based Dui Hua Foundation.
The death penalty in China means :
- nearly 80% of executions across the world in 2006 ;
- an ongoing State Secret as regards data on sentences and executions ;
- frequent use of torture to extract confessions ;
- accumulation of miscarriages of justice following hasty and unfair trials.
We note however with interest that the Chinese Government recently introduced important reforms requiring the Supreme Court review of all death sentences, which could eventually significantly reduce the use of the death penalty.
As is the case in Hong Kong, which abolished the death penalty in 1993, and a majority of other countries across the world, China can and must end use of the death penalty.
We, citizens of the world, demand that the Chinese authorities lift the State Secret and ensure transparency in the practice of the death penalty in China.
In agreement with the resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty adopted on 18 December 2007 by the General Assembly of the United Nations that calls upon all states that still maintain capital punishment to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, we invite the Chinese authorities to ensure that their country is part of the universal trend towards abolition of the death penalty by introducing an immediate moratorium on executions.