China: Chongqing Dissident Detained Over Public Speech Calling on President to Resign
February 2, 2019, 10:39 am
Chinese dissident Zhang Jilin (???) has been detained by police in the city of Chongqing after publicly saying that President Xi Jinping should be removed from office.
According to Taiwan-based Apple Daily, on January 17 Zhang talked about China’s current affairs on a WeChat group. His ideas received praise from the group members, and he later told friends that he wanted to give a public speech based on the thoughts he had expressed online.
Other dissidents urged him to be careful, but he insisted that he had “the right to free speech.” On January 19 Zhang went to Guanyinqiao Square, in the city of Chongqing, and delivered a speech about China’s political situation, calling on Xi Jinping to be removed from office.
“I think it’s time for Xi Jinping to be removed from office,” Zhang told a crowd according to an audio recording. “The Chinese Communist Party will not do anything to the people. If you don’t believe me, look, I have been giving a speech on this square all day, and more and more people have gathered. I dare to speak out, will you not dare to listen? Therefore, I believe that Guanyinqiao is the bridgehead from which we will pursue and realize democracy and constitutional government.”
However, 10 policemen subsequently arrested and handcuffed him. He was taken away in a car and a notification was sent to his family on Saturday. Zhang has a wife and an 8-year-old child.
Local dissidents and netizens have urged the authorities to release Zhang Jilin.