Civil Liberties

Free the New Youth 4!


Egypt's Daily Star reports on Internet efforts to raise consciousness and eventually free four young Chinese political prisoners. And yes, the story does have some local Egyptian color:

Arab and Chinese youth activists will be joining forces in a new Internet campaign calling for the release of imprisoned Chinese bloggers and demanding greater freedom of expression in China.

The campaign "New Youth 4" received its name after the case of the four young Chinese activists Jin Haike, Xu Wei, Yang Zili and Zhang Honghai, who in 2003 were charged with "subverting state power and the overthrowing of the socialist system" and sentenced to prison for setting up the Internet discussion group the "New Youth Society;" a forum allegedly advocating social and democratic reform.

The Beijing Intermediate People's Court sentenced the men to long prison terms in spring 2003 ranging between eight to ten years; a verdict that has been subject to strong criticism from international rights groups, including Amnesty International and Committee to Protect Journalists.

The campaign, accessible at, is inspired and hosted by the Free Kareem Coalition — an online project launched by Arab activists in support of the imprisoned Egyptian student blogger Kareem Amer who earlier this year was sentenced to four years in prison for defaming Islam and President Mubarak on his weblog.

The Free Kareem site, still (alas) active.

The FAQ about the Chinese New Youth 4, and what you can do if you want to help.