Tag Archives: China

Liu Xiaobo

China: Dissident writer sentenced to 11 years for “subversion of state power.” He had told his readers not to confuse love of country with love of government. Very subversive thought, indeed.

BEIJING — China’s leading dissident, Liu Xiaobo, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday after a court found the 53-year-old literary scholar guilty of “inciting subversion to state power” through his writings and role in Charter 08, a petition advocating human rights, free speech and an end to one-party rule.
Continue reading Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo

A well-known dissident has been formally arrested after being detained for six months on suspicion of inciting subversion, Chinese state media has reported.

Liu Xiaobo was charged on with “alleged agitation activities” aimed at overthrowing the government and the nation’s socialist system, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

He has been in police custody since December 8, the day before the publication of a document that he co-authored, appealing for political reform in China and an end to one-party rule.

“Liu has been engaged in agitation activities, such as the spreading of rumours and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years,” Xinhua News Agency quoted a Beijing police statement as saying.



Yan Jun

Beijing – Internet dissident Yan Jun, 32, has been sentenced to two years in prison on a subversion charge for posting essays online calling for change, including a free press and free expression, his family said on Monday.

The Xian Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him on Monday morning on a charge of “inciting subversion,” his mother Dai Yuzhen told reporters.

“The court took no more 20 minutes,” Dai said by telephone from Xian in Shaanxi province.

Family members and Yan could not understand the court’s decision, Dai said.

‘He wrote a few essays’

“I can’t accept this verdict. Just because he wrote a few essays, he’s going to jail? I can’t make sense of it,” Dai said.

Yan told the court he planned to appeal, Dai said.

The court refused to comment.

The sentencing comes just hours after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao landed in the United States for an official visit in which China’s human rights violations, especially its recent arrests of cyber-dissidents, are expected to be raised by US officials.

The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy urged the United States Monday to use Wen’s visit to step-up pressure on China to improve its human rights record.

“We call on Bush to pressure Wen Jiabao to open up the internet, allow religious freedom and allow workers to set up independent unions,” the Centre’s director Frank Lu said in a statement.

Yan was arrested in April after posting five essays online. One essay called for a reassessment of the June 4 1989 crackdown on student demonstrators on Tiananmen Square.

Another asked the government to free former communist party general secretary Zhao Ziyang, who was deposed and placed under house arrest after he showed sympathy towards the students in 1989.

Yan’s other essays called for freedom of the press and of expression and for the government to allow workers to set up independent unions.

He became famous in 1998 when he was among four dissidents in Xian arrested when former US president Bill Clinton visited the city as part of an official trip to China. The dissidents were released two days later.


Zhang Shengqi

Beijing – A Paris-based rights group called on China on Wednesday to release a 23-year old religious dissident arrested for using the internet to support unauthorised Christian activities.

Reporters Without Borders called on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to order the release of Zhang Shengqi, who was arrested on November 26 for publishing internet articles supporting China’s banned Christian church.

“Zhang’s is the first case of a cyber dissident jailed for expressing support for the banned Christian Church,” Robert Medard, head of the media advocacy group said in a statement.

“He has been accused of divulging state secrets, when in fact he only published articles on the government crackdown on his religious community.”

Zhang was arrested at his home in northeastern Jilin province. Police searched his house and confiscated his mobile phone and articles written by another jailed religious dissident, Liu Fenggang.

In recent months, China has moved to crackdown on unauthorised religious groups, arresting group leaders and razing unlicensed places of worship and temples, rights group and local officials have said.

China permits worship in official versions of the four main religions of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Christianity, but keeps them under strict state control.

Nevertheless, a series of underground Buddhist and Christian groups, particularly evangelical and charismatic type churches, have expanded rapidly over recent years and drawn in millions of worshippers.


Yuan Hongbing

Chinese Dissident Defects to Australia

A Chinese dissident and former head of the Beijing University criminal law department, who was previously jailed for promoting democracy, has fled to Australia and is seeking asylum.

Professor Yuan Hongbing, a law professor formerly at Beijing University and labour organizer, who was involved with a ‘Peace Charter’ reportedly modelled on the Czechoslovak ‘Charter 77’, has sought political asylum in Australia, while visiting the country on holiday.

In 1994, Prof. Yuan was charged with the crime of “Attempting to Overthrow the Socialist System”, imprisoned and then released to internal exile in Guizhou Province on condition that he never set foot in Beijing again. He was allowed to return to teaching, taking up a position at Guizhou Normal University, where he became Dean of the Law School.

During his period of exile in Guizhou, Prof. Yuan wrote a number of books, including “Golden Holy Mountain”, “depicting Communist cruelty against Tibetan culture and religion”. He has stated that his intention in defecting is to publish these books. It is also alleged that he has some connection with a lawyer representing Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, though this is unconfirmed.

For further information

Contact: Australia Tibet Council
Phone: +61 2 9283 3466
Fax: +61 2 9283 3846
Email: tibetcouncil@atc.org.au


Zhang Lin

CONTROVERSIAL CHINESE WRITER Zhang Lin has been thrown in jail for five years over essays he posted on the internet, cited as a supposed threat to Chinese national security.
Lin’s wife Fang Caofang reckons authorities are taking revenge for her husband’s controversial essays, which looked at such issues as protests by unemployed workers and jailed government officials who were associated with human trafficking.

The charges drawn up by the prosecutor against Zhang said that his articles “opposed the basic principles of the Constitution, damaged national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, spread falsehoods, disturbed social order and damaged social stability.”

A part of Zhang Lin’s article was quoted against him at the trial, however, the words quoted were not even his, but instead lyrics that he had quoted from Chinese punk group Pangu. Some of the lyrics included: “The Yellow River should run dry, this society should collapse, this system should be destroyed, this race should become extinct, this country should perish.” His lawyer argued that although the lyrics could be seen as provocative, Zhang himself did not write them and thus is not guilty.

The Times reports Zhang’s wife as saying: “I’m very pained and angry at their detestable action,” going on to mention that her younger daughter is only 2 years old.

60 cyber-dissidents are currently in jail for posting their views on the internet, according to human rights group Amnesty International, which today published a scathing attack on the country’s human rights record.


Wang Dan

Chinese dissident hopes to appeal 11-year sentence
Wang Dan convicted after short trial
October 30, 1996
Web posted at: 10:45 a.m. EST (1545 GMT)

In this story:

Entire trial took four hours
Active in 1989 pro-democracy movement
Almost no dissidents left
Related stories and sites

From Beijing Bureau Chief Andrea Koppel

BEIJING (CNN) — Prominent dissident and former student leader Wang Dan was convicted Wednesday of plotting to overthrow the Chinese government and sentenced to 11 years in prison. The verdict and sentence were denounced by human rights activists, and the 27-year-old pro-democracy activist told family members he wanted to appeal.

“Everything he’s done has been within the bounds of Chinese law,” his father, Wang Xianzeng, whispered to CNN on Wednesday, accompanied by his wife and daughter as they walked to court to plead Wang Dan’s innocence. His mother, a 61-year-old museum researcher who has no background in law, participated in the trial as one of two defense lawyers.

Because the Beijing government says their son is a criminal, the Wangs are routinely harassed by police and take a huge risk each time they talk to journalists. They took the risk on Wednesday because “we hope that Wang Dan will be found not guilty,” his father explained.

Entire trial took four hours
In a trial and sentencing that took just four hours, they got their answer, but not the one they wanted. In addition to the 11-year prison term, the Beijing Number One Intermediate People’s Court also sentenced Wang to an additional two years without political rights. He had faced a maximum penalty of death and a minimum 10-year sentence.

“It is very unreasonable… it is too hasty,” Wang Xianzeng said afterward. “Wang Dan said he wants to appeal… we will definitely appeal,” he said after a 30-minute meeting with his son following the conviction.

Most journalists kept out
From beginning to end, human rights groups charged that the guilty verdict in Wang Dan’s trial, like those in almost all Chinese criminal trials, was predetermined.

Although the government claims the trial was a public one, no impartial observers were allowed to attend and police kept international journalists far away from the courthouse.

Active in 1989 pro-democracy movement

Wang, a leader of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, had been one of the few members of China’s dwindling band of dissidents not in exile or serving a long term in detention or prison.

He has already served three and a half years in prison for counter-revolutionary crimes, or subversion, for his role in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations that were crushed by the army in June 1989 with heavy loss of life.(19 sec./1MB QuickTime movie)

He was politically active again after his parole in 1993, defying police surveillance to join a daring appeal to Communist leaders for the release of those still jailed for their part in the 1989 protests.

Almost no dissidents left
Human rights groups said the verdict was the result of a show trial that blatantly violated Chinese law and international standards. There are virtually no dissidents left in China today, says Robin Munro of Human Rights Watch/Asia. (15 sec./342K AIFF or WAV sound)

Munro’s claim of government intimidation appears to be borne out by a random survey of Chinese residents. When a CNN reporter stopped people on a Beijing street Wednesday and asked what they thought about Wang’s trial, most walked away, saying they were too busy to comment.

Human rights groups are calling on governments around the world to postpone all trade missions and high-level visits to China until all political prisoners are released. But that’s not expected to happen.

In the months to come, China’s diplomatic calendar is already booked with high-level visits from major Western countries, including one next month by U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

Reuters contributed to this report