Cyber-dissident Lü Gengsong sentenced to four years in prison

Cyber-dissident Lü Gengsong sentenced to four years in prison

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the four-year prison
sentence passed today by an intermediate court in the eastern city of
Hangzhou on cyber-dissident Lü Gengsong for “inciting subversion of
state authority.” Lü had spent 10 months in pretrial detention.

“This sentence is further evidence of China’s continuing
crackdown on dissidents,” the press freedom organisation said. “The
charge on which Lu was convicted is meant to intimidate. Lü just used
his right to free expression and we call on the court to revise its

Based in the southeastern province of Zhejiang and a
member of the writers organisation International PEN, Lü wrote articles
about corruption that he posted on the Internet. His wife said
reference was made to five of his articles during the trial although
the passages regarded as “subversive” were not quoted.

family received written notification from the Public Security Bureau in
Xihu (near de Hangzhou) on 16 September that he would not be allowed to
have lawyer because the case involved “possession of state secrets.”

petition signed by more than a thousand Chinese intellectuals published
on 27 August called for Lü’s release and mentioned the promises to
improve respect for human rights which Chinese officials made in 2001
when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics.

With six months to
go to the start of the Beijing Olympics, China continues to be the
world’s biggest prison for bloggers and journalists. Last year,
Reporters Without Borders registered the closure of more than 2,500
websites, most of them discussion forums.