Chinese writer Chen Wei is serving a sentence of nine years in prison on charges of “subverting state power.” Suining police arrested Chen, who wrote articles promoting democracy in China, on February 20, 2011.
Police in Suining, Sichuan province, detained Chen alongside dozens of lawyers, writers, and activists who were jailed nationwide after anonymous online calls for a nonviolent "Jasmine Revolution" in China, according to international news reports. The Hong Kong-based group Chinese Human Rights Defenders reported that Chen was charged on March 28, 2011, with inciting subversion of state power.
Chen’s lawyer, Zheng Jianwei, made repeated attempts to visit him but was not allowed access until September 8, 2011, according to the rights group and the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia. Radio Free Asia reported that police had selected four pro-democracy articles Chen had written for overseas websites as the basis for criminal prosecution.
In December 2011, a court in Suining sentenced Chen to nine years in prison on charges of "inciting subversion of state power."
Chen has been jailed twice before. He served a year and a half in prison for participating in the Tiananmen protests in 1989. In 1992 he was sentenced to five years in prison for organizing the Chinese Freedom and Democracy Party.
He is being held in Jialin Prison in Sichuan province, according to Boxun News and Chen’s wife, Wang Xiaoyan.
In September 2019, Wang told CPJ via phone that her husband is healthy and that he is due to be released in February 2020.
CPJ’s call to the Suining Public Security Bureau requesting comment went unanswered in late 2019.