Wu and Mao, both organizers for the banned China Democracy Party (CDP), were detained in the run-up to the 10-year anniversary of the military crackdown on demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. A few months later, authorities detained two more leading CDP activists, Zhu Yufu and Xu Guang. The four were later convicted of subversion for, among other things, establishing a magazine called Zaiye Dang (Opposition Party) and circulating pro-democracy writings online.
On October 25, 1999, the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang province conducted what The New York Times described as a “sham trial.” On November 9, 1999, Wu was sentenced to 11 years in prison, and Mao was sentenced to eight years. Their political rights were suspended for three years each upon release. Xu was sentenced to five years in prison and was later released. Zhu was sentenced to seven years and was released in September 2006. After his release, Zhu told journalists that he had been abused and deprived of sleep while in prison.
“The guards would tell three or four criminals to beat me, saying it was a private matter between prisoners,” Zhu told The Associated Press.