Zhu was arrested and charged with subversion after distributing articles via the Internet. Prosecutors accused him of distributing “hostile” materials, including copies of Dacankao (VIP Reference), a Chinese-language, pro-democracy electronic newsletter that Zhu had allegedly e-mailed to several friends, according to U.S.-based sources close to the case.
Dacankao, which is compiled in the United States and e-mailed to more than 1 million addresses in China every day, contains articles from various sources about social and political topics banned from China’s tightly controlled domestic media.
Following his September 10 trial, the Shaoyang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court signaled its intention to sentence Zhu to a nine-month jail term. However, the Political and Legal Committee of Shaoyang Municipality reviewed the case and insisted that the court impose a more severe sentence. On September 11, Zhu was sentenced to three years in prison.
Zhu, a respected lawyer in Shaoyang City, had previously worked as an editor at a local radio station. He was also the founder and editor-in-chief of the Shaoyang City Radio and Television Journal.