Chinese dissident Sang Jiancheng sentenced to 3 years for subversion

Why do Chinese activists continue to demand justice when it it comes to the Tiananmen Square protests? They know what’s coming, right? Is it a death wish, a martyrdom complex, or an idealistic belief that they may be able to change things? I opt for the latter, and I have huge respect for those who would put themselves in such jeopardy to speak out against repression, even though the government reaction continues to be knee-jerk:

Veteran dissident Sang Jiancheng has been jailed for three years for subversion after distributing a letter calling on the government to reassess its verdict on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, a US-based human rights group says.

The Shanghai Intermediate People’s Court handed down the sentence on Tuesday for the offence of “incitement to subvert state power” more than a year after Sang was arrested, Human Rights in China said.

Prosecutors said Sang distributed an “open letter” in the western city of Xian in 2002 that was addressed to the 16th Communist Party Congress and signed by several political activists.

Several people who signed the letter have also been jailed. One of the writers of the letter, Ouyang Yi, is waiting to learn his sentence after being tried recently for posting pro-democracy material on the internet, rights groups said.

The letter, signed by 192 people, urged the government to reassess its condemnation of the June 4, 1989 protests, release political prisoners and expand democratic elections.

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