China Jails 2nd Writer for Subversion

Chen Xi was arrested last month after publishing his essays online
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM CST
Chen Xi was sentenced to 10 years in prison.   (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

(Newser) – China handed yet another dissident yet another long sentence today: Chen Xi was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being charged with "incitement to subvert state power" following the online publication of 36 essays he had written. His wife called the verdict "utterly absurd," explaining that "Chen Xi told the court it did not take into consideration the things he has written as a whole, and has interpreted his words out of context. But they have power and they don't listen." The AP reports that the sentence is very likely an attempt to quash Chen's work with a forum that organizes human rights and pro-democracy activities in the southern China.

Chen, who was active in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and has been jailed before for "counterrevolutionary offenses," will not file an appeal, noted his wife. His sentence, along with the nine-year sentence handed to Chen Wei last week, has caught the attention of the UN. Its Human Rights office expressed concern about what "appears to be a very unfortunate trend and a pattern of severe restrictions on the activities of human rights defenders and freedom of expression in China." The AP notes that both men were likely tried over the Christmas holiday in a bid to escape criticism from diplomats, who are on vacation. (Read more China stories.)

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