02/10/2012, 00.00
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In Hangzhou, dissident poet gets seven years in prison

A dissident as far back as 1979 when he began collaborating with Wei Jingsheng on Beijing’s ‘democracy wall,’ Zhu Yufu has already spent many years in prison for his actions in favour of democracy. A court recently convicted him for “inciting subversion of state power”. More and more free voices are being jailed ahead of the party congress and the National People’s Congress.
Hangzhou (AsiaNews) – The Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Zhu Yufu to seven years in prison, plus three years without political rights. The dissident, who is known for his collaboration with Wei Jingsheng from the time of Beijing ‘democracy wall’, was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power”, Chinese Human Rights Defender reported.

His sentence follows that of Chen Wei, Chen Xi and Li Tie, as well as other dissidents who were sent to prison back in December. It is a sign that Beijing is getting very nervous a few months before the upcoming 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

According to Zhu’s lawyer, Li Dunyong, the dissident was tried at hearing held on 16 January in Hangzhou and found guilty of writing a poem urging the people to revolt against the Communist regime.

Zhu was already in jail (since April 2011) after security agents took him into custody during a preventive crackdown of possible Chinese emulators of the Arab spring.

Zhu had also served time in prison twice before, in 1999 for seven years, and 2007 for two years.

The “evidence” that convicted him is titled ‘It’s Time’. One verse reads, “People of China, it’s time / Everyone owns the square and yours are the feet / It’s time to use them and go to the square to decide /.

According to his lawyer, Zhu is not involved in any online campaign trying to bring Arab-styled unrest to China.

However, the government is so concerned about the latter that is has decided to silence all free voices and take into custody pro-democracy dissidents ahead of the March meeting of the National People’s Congress and the party’s congress scheduled for October.
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