Well-known Dissident Author Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
Epoch Times columnist and renowned dissident author Zhang Lin, was recently sentenced to five years of imprisonment on charges of inciting subversion. Zhang filed an immediate appeal upon receiving the verdict. His defense lawyer, Mo Shaoping, believes that the verdict did not conform to standard procedures, and is thus illegal. The case is currently in its second hearing.
After receiving notice of the five-year sentence, Zhang Lin’s wife, Fang Cao, urged the international community, human rights organizations and overseas media to continue to support Zhang. Fang Cao was most worried about her husband’s health as she was worried that his frail stature could not cope with the harsh conditions of the prison. She emphasized that she would appeal for her husband until his eventual release.
Chef Editor of Epoch Times online, Huang Wanqing, says he was deeply saddened by the news. Nevertheless, he believes that the harsher the oppression, the louder the voice of truth will resonate. He expressed his concern for Zhang’s family and stressed that he would support Zhang by appealing to international bodies and tracking down Zhang’s oppressor and if need be take legal action.
On January 27 this year, Zhang traveled to Beijing to mourn the death of ousted former Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang. Upon his return to Anhui Province, on January 29, 2005, Zhang was detained by the police and is still under arrest. The arrest was condemned by the international community and human rights organizations.
The indictment stated that since the second half of 2003, Zhang Lin contributed 192 articles to various news websites, including Boxun News, The Epoch Times and Secret China. The indictment says that there were a total of 500 words and sentences containing content inciting subversion, and referenced six of the articles, including two about the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
With regards to the sentence, Mo Shaoping said, “The procedure is illegal. According to the procedure of Supreme Court, for cases which render judgment at a fixed time, the lawyer should be notified in advance of the time and venue of the verdict. However, for Zhang’s case, I only learned of the sentence when my assistant contacted the court. The court did not notify the lawyer before the judgment.”
Chef Editor of The Epoch Times websites, Huang Wanqing said, “Zhang is a man of courage who advocates democracy and his character commands much respect in China. By targeting Zhang, it reveals the insecurity of CCP. Even though the CCP doesn’t acknowledge this, we are aware that the CCP dreads the Nine Commentaries and the massive quitting of CCP members. It is worth noting that the court verdict highlighted Zhang’s two articles, in support of the Nine Commentaries.”
Huang said, “We observe that the CCP frequently arrests and convicts columnists and interviewees of The Epoch Times from mainland China. Such acts are absurd and completely unacceptable. The voice of truth cannot be suppressed. The harsher the oppression, the louder this voice will become. Ultimately, the CCP would collapse under its own weight.”
Huang continued, “Zhang and other righteous people are the heroes and hope of China. I appeal to the international community to work together to help these people regain their freedom as soon as possible.”