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.