Democracy Activist Sentenced to Six Years for “Subversion of State Power”

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Democracy Activist Sentenced to Six Years for “Subversion of State Power”

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, January 7, 2009) –Wang Rongqing (王荣清), a member of China Democracy Party, Zhejiang Chapter, was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for “subversion of state power” by Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang Province.

The verdict hearing started at around 9:30am this morning and lasted only fifteen minutes. Wang’s officially-appointed lawyer Liu Yong (刘勇) and a friend and dissident, Zou Wei (邹巍), attended the hearing. According to the verdict, Wang is guilty of “subversion of state power” because he was the main organizer of the China Democracy Party (CDP) in Zhejiang Province; that he continued to “actively participate, organize and develop” CDP after the Ministry of Public Security declared the Party “an enemy organization”; that, prior to the Olympics, he organized the first national meeting of the CDP; and that Wang edited the publication The Opposition Party and published many articles online about the CDP.

It is unclear whether or not Wang will appeal.

CHRD also learned that after Wang was apprehended on June 25, 2008, police told Wang’s family that if they stayed quiet and accepted the appointed lawyer, Wang would be given a shorter sentence, which might be immediately converted to parole. Following the police’s offer of such a deal, Wang’s family decided not to give press interviews and accepted officially-appointed lawyer Liu as Wang’s lawyer. However, Wang’s sentence turned out to be one of the most severe for Zhejiang dissidents in recent years.

Wang is reportedly in poor health. His friends and family say that he suffers from a number of illnesses and can only walk with the aid of crutches.

He is currently held at Hangzhou City, Jianggan District Detention Center.

CHRD calls for Wang’s immediate and unconditional release.

CHRD believes that Wang has been imprisoned for the peaceful activities of organizing a political party and meeting with fellow citizens, and for voicing dissenting views. The Chinese government has violated Wang‘s rights to freedom of expression and association guaranteed in Articles 19 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which China has signed though not yet ratified. These rights are also enshrined in Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution.


Wang, 65, is a veteran democracy activist whose activism can be traced back to the Democracy Wall movement in the late 1970s. For his activism, Wang has been repeatedly harassed and detained by police. In 2004, Wang was detained for two weeks after he drafted and submitted to the Chinese government a Draft Law on Chinese Political Parties. In 2005, he was detained for six months for organizing the China Democracy Party’s Zhejiang Chapter. In August 2006, Wang was again detained for a month for writing articles criticizing the repression of religious freedom in Zhejiang Province.

On June 25, 2008, Wang was taken away from his home by members of the local and National Security police from the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau (PSB). Wang was formally arrested on July 31, 2008, on suspicion of “subversion of state power”. (CHRD had originally reported his arrest as being on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. Please note the correction.)

For more information, please see:

CHRD, “‘Olympics Security’ Crackdown Sends Veteran Democracy Activist to Criminal Detention”, August 4, 2008,

CHRD, “”Olympics Security” Crackdown Sends another Democracy Activist to Criminal Detention”, August 5, 2008,

Media contacts for this press release:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +1 3015479286

Wang Songlian, Researcher and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +852 81911660

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