Friday, December 23, 2011

Chinese dissident receives 9 years in prison - 23rd Dec 2011

Veteran rights activist Chen Wei was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday by a Chinese court in one of the harshest sentences involving a dissident this year.

A court in Suining in southwestern China's Sichuan province found the 42-year-old guilty of inciting subversion of state power.

Chen was detained in February after he published essays online that mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen protests, calling for freedom of speech, democracy and political reform.

"Everyone has opinions, but he was brave enough to express his openly and was punished for it," Wang Xiaoyan, Chen's wife, said in an interview with CNN. "I feel no sadness, just pure anger at how this all played out."

Friday was the first time Wang had seen her husband since his detention by central government security officials in February after they invited him to have tea, play poker and eat lunch, amid a government crackdown on the Jasmine protests. His family was not given a reason for his detention. Read More