China jails online activist for supporting Tibetans

November 22nd, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 22 (DPA) China has sentenced an online activist to three years in prison after convicting him of subversion for supporting Tibetans who staged anti-Chinese protests, a rights group said Saturday.A court in the south-western city of Chengdu, Sichuan province, sentenced Chen Daojun Friday after finding him guilty of “inciting subversion of state power”, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said in a statement.

The charges against Chen, 40, were linked to his posting online of articles supporting Tibetans who staged widespread, often violent, protests against Chinese rule in March 2008.

Chen, a freelance writer, was unhappy with the court’s verdict but was still considering whether to appeal, the group said.

His lawyer had entered a plea of not guilty with the court, arguing that Chen had the right to “free expression of his political views,” it said.

The court tried Chen on an apparently more serious charge of “inciting secession” and it was not clear why he was convicted of subversion instead, the group said.

“CHRD believes that Chen has been imprisoned solely for the peaceful activities of expressing his opinions,” it said.

It said state prosecutors focussed on three articles written or posted by Chen, including one called “The government forces the people to rebel: A tribute to the Tibetans who staged a heroic

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