After a Shanghai court’s rejection of the appeal from Yang Jia, who killed six policemen in revenge for a wrongful arrest, 44 intellectuals publicly signed on an open letter, asking for the authority’s amnesty.
“Whereas death penalty is a punishment of cruelty in violation of human dignity. … More than two thirds of 193 UN member states have abolished death penalty in law or in essence.” The letter said.
“Mr. Yang has taken extremist actions and caused human tragedy, after failed attempts to seek justice through legal channels over a long period of time. This is why he was overwhelmingly sympathized by the public.”
“Shanghai authorities have refused to publicize the entire facts of the accident. Yang Jia’s mother, a key witness, was kidnapped. Seven Shanghai policemen, also key witnesses, refused to testify on court. The initial death sentence was out of a close-door trial against legal procedure.”
Among the signers are lawyers, writers, professors, and journalists, including a famous economist Mao Yushi and artists Ai Weiwei, who designed Bird Nest or Beijing National Stadium. The execution of 28-year-old Yang Jia is awaiting the approval from the Supreme People’s Court, according to his lawyer Zhai Jian.
Epoch Times, October 21, 2008