A court in Guiyang, Guizhou province, sentenced Chen to 10 years in prison followed by three years’ deprivation of political rights on December 26, 2011, on charges of inciting subversion against state power based on online writings. The sentencing took place just four days after writer Chen Wei was sentenced to nine years on the same charge in Sichuan province.
Chen Xi was originally detained in November 2011 for campaigning for independent local People’s Congress candidates, according to the U.K.’s Guardian and other news reports. However, during his trial, the prosecution cited 36 articles Chen had written and published online to support the charges against him, according to international news reports. The reports did not specify which websites published the articles. “[He] was calling for democracy and human rights. This wish was his whole crime,” Chen’s wife, Zhang Qunxuan, told the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights in China.
Chen had been imprisoned twice in the past for political activism, including his activities during the 1989 student movement. He also was a signatory of imprisoned writer Liu Xiaobo’s Charter 08, according to the reports.