Longtime Chinese Activist Charged with Subversion

Posted January 18th, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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A veteran Chinese dissident has been charged with subversion for publishing a poem urging his fellow citizens to rise up and demand greater freedoms.

Chinese police arrested Zhu Yufu nearly a year ago after he posted his poem, titled “It's Time,” on the Internet. The poem was published during the height of the Arab Spring uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East. Zhu was detained as part of a crackdown by Chinese officials on political dissidents who called for similar protests.

Zhu's lawyer says his client believes in the freedom of expression. He says Zhu is in good health in detention in the eastern city of Hangzhou.

The 60-year-old dissident has been convicted twice before for his activism. He spent seven years in prison after his first conviction in 1999, and served another two years in prison after a conviction in 2007.

Zhu's poem includes these lines: “It's time, Chinese people! / The square belongs to everyone / the feet are yours / it's time to use your feet and take to the square to make a choice.”

China sentenced two other dissidents to lengthy prison terms back in December on separate subversion charges.