Chinese dissident sentenced to 7 years over poem

Last Updated: Saturday, February 11, 2012 - 00:07

Beijing: A Chinese court has sentenced a
dissident writer to seven years in prison over a poem he wrote
urging his countrymen to gather to a public square, a human rights group said on Friday.

The hefty sentence comes ahead of next week`s visit to
the US by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, widely expected
to be China`s next leader, where he is likely to face
questions on human rights.

A court in Hangzhou city sentenced dissident Zhu Yufu
today in a hearing attended by his ex-wife and son, said the
Chinese Human Rights Defenders. Zhu`s ex-wife and lawyers
could not immediately be reached.

Beijing: A Chinese court has sentenced a
dissident writer to seven years in prison over a poem he wrote
urging his countrymen to gather to a public square, a human rights group said on Friday.

The hefty sentence comes ahead of next week`s visit to
the US by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, widely expected
to be China`s next leader, where he is likely to face
questions on human rights.

A court in Hangzhou city sentenced dissident Zhu Yufu
today in a hearing attended by his ex-wife and son, said the
Chinese Human Rights Defenders. Zhu`s ex-wife and lawyers
could not immediately be reached.

Zhu`s lawyer Li Dunyong said previously that during the
trial, prosecutors cited as evidence a poem Zhu wrote titled
"It`s Time."

Sections of the poem have since been widely shared on the
Internet. Part of it reads: "It`s time, Chinese people! The
square belongs to every one. Your feet are your own. It`s time
to use your feet to go to the square and make a choice."

Zhu sent the poem to friends via the Internet early last
year as anonymous calls circulated online urging Chinese to
imitate protests that toppled governments in North Africa and
the Middle East.

Prosecutors said "It`s Time" was meant to encourage
Chinese to stage their own anti-government protests, Li said.

He said that Zhu denied the charges and denied posting the
poem to any public online forum. He said he shared it only
with friends.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 11, 2012 - 00:07

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