Chinese writers sentenced for ‘essays of inciting nature’

Chinese activists Lü Jiaping, his wife Yu Junyi, and an associate, Jin Andi, were imprisoned in 2010 without their families being informed. The full details of their 2011 trial and sentences were not made public until 2012, according to the English-language Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

A Beijing court sentenced Lü, a military scholar in his seventies, to 10 years in prison on May 13, 2011, according to the Hong Kong-based advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders. After Yu, 71, was released from residential surveillance in February 2012, she told journalists she had been given a suspended three-year sentence and Jin, 58, an eight-year jail term on the same day, the Post reported. The three writers were found guilty of inciting subversion, according to the Post and the U.S. government-funded Voice of America.

Jin immediately filed an appeal against the verdict, news reports said. But the appeals court upheld the sentences on the basis that the three defendants “wrote essays of an inciting nature” and “distributed them through the mail, emails, and by posting them on individuals’ web pages. [They] subsequently were posted and viewed by others on websites such as Boxun News and New Century News,” according to a 2012 translation by William Farris, a Beijing-based lawyer for an Internet company. Boxun News and New Century News are Chinese exile-run news websites. New Century Net also published the court document on its website.

The 13 offending articles were principally written by Lü, while Yu and Jin helped in researching and disseminating them, according to the appeal judgment. The document lists the articles with dates, places of publication, and number of times they were reposted, but points to just one 70-word paragraph as proof of incitement: “[The Chinese Communist Party’s] status as a governing power and leadership utility has long-since been smashed and subverted by the powers that hold the Party at gunpoint,” that paragraph said.

Lü has suffered a heart attack in jail, as well as other ailments, and is barely able to walk, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders.