Du Daobin achieved worldwide fame last year when he lobbied for the release of fellow cyber-dissident Liu Di (aka Stainless Steel Mouse) and was then arrested himself for subversion. His crime: posting some essays on the Internet that were critical of the CCP.
Now, in a move that appears to be pretty shabby, the authorities have scheduled the trial on a day they knew his attorney was unavailable. And it’ll be a secret trial.
Former government official Du Daobin was detained in October 2003 and charged with incitement to subvert state power after posting several essays critical of the Chinese government on the Internet.
Du’s trial was scheduled at the Intermediate People’s Court at Xiaogan City on May 17, a day on which Du’s lawyer Mo Shaoping had previously said he would be unable to attend, the New York-based nonprofit Human Rights in China (HRIC) said in a statement.
“The court normally would accommodate an attorney’s scheduling conflict, which happens often but would normally be resolved through coordination with the court,” Du’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said in an interview. “I haven’t encountered such an uncompromising stance before. Perhaps [the court] was in a difficult situation that was hard to express.”
Had he been able to attend, Mo said he would have told the court that Du “had written online articles containing a total of more than 1500,000 characters, but they selected a few thousand characters deemed as having problems. One should look at an issue as a whole and not garble statements.”
Not much that’s new to say here. It’s just important to remember that as certain freedoms expand, others are going nowhere, and even moving backwards.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.