Lu Gengsong & Chen Shuqing Sentenced: Chinese Activists Faced ‘Subversion’ Charge
China has sentenced two activists, Lu Gengsong and Chen Shuqing, to a decade in prison for writing essays and for pushing a second political party. A court in Hangzhou has announced that Mr. Gengsong will spend 11 years behind bars and handed down a lesser sentence of 10 and a half years to Mr. Shuqing.
On Friday, Lu Gengsong and Chen Shuqing, two Chinese activists received very harsh sentences from a high court in the city of Hangzhou, China.
The Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court declared that Gengsong, a 60-year-old retired teacher, writer, and journalist must spend 11 years of his life in prison. That same court sentenced Shuqing, 50, to 10 and a half years behind bars.
Chinese authorities claimed that both men are “guilty of subversion for publishing pro-democracy essays on overseas websites.” The duo was arrested in 2014 after it was revealed that they wrote several pieces for Boxun, a Chinese website hosted abroad where they supported the idea of having a second political party in the communist country.
The journalists are backers of the China Democratic Party. China has a one-party rule under the Communist Party whose General Secretary is Xi Jinping, who is also the President of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission.
In Mr. Shuqing’s article, he spoke about the many pro-democracy activists, who have been imprisoned since the 1990s. As for Mr. Gengsong, he wrote a series of articles on corruption and organized crime and signed a petition, which demanded that China be removed from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Fu Yonggang, a lawyer for Mr. Shuqing, issued a brief statement that read:
“Chen Shuqing didn’t say much after the verdict. But before the verdict hearing, he said that he’d appeal if he was found guilty, no matter how short or long the sentence was.”
The wives – Wang Xue and Zhang Donghong – have also spoken to the media blasting the unitary socialist one-party state and explained that their spouses were just exercising their rights to speech, which is legal in China. Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, added:
“Lü Gengsong and Chen Shuqing have already spent years in Chinese prison merely for writing and expressing their opinions. To sentence them each to more than a decade is beyond absurd. We call for the immediate release of the two writers and for their sentences to be overturned on appeal.”
Both men had been arrested in the past; Gengsong was sentenced in 2008 to four years in prison on charges of inciting subversion. In 1989, Shuqing was condemned to 4 years behind bars for taking part in a pro-democracy protest.