China dissident writer arrested on 'subversion' charges

[JURIST] A Chinese dissident writer has been formally arrested [CRD press release] in Hangzhou on charges of "inciting subversion of power," advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders said Sunday. Lu Gengsong was initially detained on August 24 on suspicion of subverting state power and illegal possession of state secrets but the second charge was dropped. Human Rights in China had protested [press release] his initial detention as "the most recently reported instance of the crackdown by Chinese authorities on rights defenders in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics."

In August, Human Rights Watch reported that China is clamping down on human rights activists [press release; JURIST report] and other political dissidents ahead of the Beijing 2008 Olympics [official website]. HRW said that leaders in the Communist Party of China [official backgrounder], fearing that activists will embarrass the party by highlighting political and social problems during the games, have also silenced independent media coverage. Amnesty International also reported [text; press release] in August that China has not kept its promises to improve human rights and press freedom [JURIST report] in preparation for the Olympics since the Chinese government has recently committed an increasing number of rights abuses against political and religious opponents. AP has more.



 

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