Chinese dissident writer Chen Shuqing was sentenced to four years imprisonment and deprived of political freedom for one year, according to Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.
Chen, 43 years old, is a famous Internet writer. He graduated from Zhejiang University, in China, and is a member of the Chinese Democratic Party of the Zhejiang Preparatory Committee. On Aug. 16, he was charged with “inciting the subversion of State power.” He will appeal the charge.
In recent years, Chen has published extensive articles over the Internet in favor of freedom and democracy and against autocratic and dictatorial political systems. Due to pressure from local authorities in Zhejiang Province, Chen was fired from his job.
According to the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, Chen studied on his own to qualify as a lawyer. Based on his political beliefs, however, the Zhejiang local government refused to issue him Bar certification.
On Sept. 13, 2006, the Zhejiang Hangzhou Public Security Bureau detained Chen on criminal charges. Later, Chen was brought before the Procuratorate, and then subjected to persecution. In July 2007, during the Hangzhou Intermediate Court proceedings, Chen refused to plead guilty.
Chen's defense attorney Li Jianqiang claims that the conviction was based on false accusations. He argued that the sentence was excessive because Chen's commentaries only elaborated on his own personal political views. Furthermore, Chen had no intention, through words or deeds, of undermining the prevailing political system. Thus, the conviction and sentencing could not be legally justified.