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China Jails Dissident for Poem Sent Over Internet

Chinese authorities demonstrated their continued disregard for free speech and human rights as they sentenced a democratic dissident to seven years in jail for sending a poem he had written and other messages over the Internet, the man’s son told reporters. The verdict cited Zhu Yufu’s online calls for a democratic political movement, the son said. –ARK

The Guardian:

Zhu Yufu was jailed for “inciting subversion of state power” by a court in Hangzhou, eastern China, after a trial hearing on 31 January when prosecutors cited a poem and messages he had sent on the internet, his son Zhu Ang told Reuters.

The poem said: “It’s time, Chinese people! It’s time. The Square belongs to all.” References to a “square” might evoke memories among many Chinese people of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, though the poem did not mention it or the 1989 pro-democracy protests.

Prosecutors also cited text messages that he sent using Skype. There was no suggestion that the online chat service helped police to collect evidence.

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