Jail Sentence Upheld for Writer/Activist Lu Gengsong

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Jail Sentence Upheld for Writer/Activist Lu Gengsong
Chinese authorities must end criminalization of free expression and release Lu immediately.

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, April 17, 2008) – In a closed trial on April 14, the Zhejiang Provincial High Court rejected the appeal of Lu Gengsong (吕耿松), a Hangzhou-based freelance writer and activist. Lu was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to four years in prison and one year of political rights deprivation on February 5.

“The Chinese court missed yet another opportunity to redress the injustice of criminalizing Lu for exercising his right to free expression,” said one of Lu’s lawyers.

In the appeal letter, Lu pleaded not guilty. He said he was merely peacefully exercising his freedom of expression, not inciting subversion, in the 20 articles which the court used to convict him.

Lu said he is going to file a complaint to the Supreme People’s Court.

Lu’s first trial on January 22 was also a closed trial. He is currently incarcerated at the Xihu (West Lake) Detention Center in Hangzhou City.

Background
A resident of Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, Mr. Lu, 51, was formerly a teacher at the Zhejiang Higher Professional School of Public Security but was expelled in 1993 because of his participation in pro-democracy activities. He is the author of several books on political reform, such as A History of CCP Corrupt Officials (HK, Culture and Arts Studio, 2000). He frequently posted news articles on the Internet reporting official corruption and violations in forced evictions of urban residents. A few days before his own detention, he reported on the confinement in a psychiatric hospital of fellow activist He Weihua, and the day before his detention, he attended the criminal trial of housing rights activist, Yang Yunbiao. Lu was detained on August 24, 2007, and formally arrested on September 29, 2007, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.”

For more information, please see:
Writer/Activist Lu Gengsong Sentenced to Four Years in Prison (February 5, 2008)
Lu Gengsong, writer and activist, under formal arrest (October 1, 2007)
Hangzhou Public Security Bureau Rejects Lu Gengsong’s Request for Lawyer (September 23, 2007)

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