Chinese Dissidents Jailed Ahead of Moon FestivalComments Off on Chinese Dissidents Jailed Ahead of Moon Festival
Originally published by Radio Free Asias on September 19, 2013
But Hubei-based activist Liu Feiyue, who runs the People’s Livelihood Watch website, said any charges against Liu were unjust, as his actions had been entirely legal and reasonable.
“Liu Jiacai’s action in Yichang [city] were rights defense work of an entirely legal and reasonable kind,” Liu Feiyue said. “He took part in meal gatherings with the New Citizens’ Movement, all of which were legal.”
Liu had recently become active in the movement, which targets ruling Chinese Communist Party officials for graft, and has staged public protests since March, demanding they reveal their assets.
“This is yet another case of suppression of the New Citizens’ Movement, which is a violation of human rights,” Liu Feiyue said.
Meanwhile, a court in Shanghai sentenced two activists on charges of “creating a disturbance” in apparent retaliation for their longtime rights activities and petitioning, the overseas-based China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) group said in an e-mailed statement.
The city’s Zhabei District People’s Court on Tuesday handed a 30-month jail term to long-term activist and petitioner Wang Kouma after holding him for nearly one year.
The same court sentenced fellow activist Wei Qin to 27 months’ imprisonment during a trial closed to foreign journalists and supporters of the two men.
Wang Kouma had previously served a two-year prison sentence for seeking to expose the circumstances surrounding his mother’s suspicious death and the role local officials played in it.
Meanwhile, a labor activist in the eastern province of Zhejiang found himself without a job ahead of the festival after he took part in protests outside local government offices in a bid to recover unpaid wages.
Guo Xizhen, a former worker at the Aiteli shoe factory in Zhejiang’s Wenzhou city, said he had been fired with no pre-festival wages.
“This happened yesterday evening,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
Millions of Chinese look forward to the nation’s traditional moon-viewing and cake-eating festival, which typically features poetic couplets, moon-gazing picnics, and colorful lanterns.
The Mid-Autumn Festival, which often runs into the Oct. 1 National Day holiday, starts on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, when the harvest moon appears at its roundest and largest.
This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Sept. 19.
Reported by Xin Yu for RFA’s Mandarin Service and by Grace Kei Lai-see for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.