China sentences Internet essayist to two years

I had such a great time in China last week. Too bad news like this forces me to remember there is still trouble in paradise:

CHINESE Internet dissident Yan Jun, 32, has been sentenced to two years in prison on a subversion charge for posting essays online calling for change, including a free press and free expression, his family said today.

The Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him this morning on a charge of “inciting subversion”, his mother Dai Yuzhen told AFP.

“The court took no more 20 minutes,” Dai said by telephone from Xi’an in Shaanxi province.

Family members and Yan could not understand the court’s decision, Dai said.

I can’t accept this verdict. Just because he wrote a few essays, he’s going to jail? I can’t make sense of it,” Dai said.

What a shame. Such a robust country, such an ambitious people, still reigned in by good old-fashioned totalitarian terror.

UPDATE: The families of four cyber-dissidents sentenced to unbelievably harsh sentences have now appealed to Laura Bush for help. This is another must-read for those who think things are getting better in terms of self-expression. These guys range from 28 to 32, and their prison sentences range from 8 to 10 years. Those are very, very long sentences.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

I hope the Western Chinabloggers watch their own asses. This stuff WILL be picked up someday by more than a few sinisterly curious Chinese. One wonders whether some of the Chinese bloggers blogging in English might have… an agenda.

All y’all be careful.

Sowing paranoia,


December 9, 2003 @ 3:09 am | Comment

I don’t think the CCP gives a damn about Western blogs in English, even if the bloggers are living on the Mainland. As long as it’s not in Chinese, it won’t have massive sway, and cracking down on Western bloggers would be a political bombshell. The CCP is way too shrewd to take hold of this tar baby.

December 9, 2003 @ 8:00 am | Comment

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