China dissident writer faces trial on subversion charges Patrick Porter at 2:26 PM ET
[JURIST] A Chinese dissident writer will face trial next week on subversion charges related to essays exposing corruption within the Communist Party of China [official backgrounder], the writer's wife told AP Friday. Lu Gengsong was arrested [JURIST report] last October on charges of "inciting subversion of power," according to advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders. Lu's wife said that the indictment mentioned five essays written by Lu, but no specific passages. She has requested that the trial be held publicly, but Chinese authorities have limited attendance to immediate family members. AP has more.
Human Rights in China had protested [press release] Lu's initial detention as "the most recently reported instance of the crackdown by Chinese authorities on rights defenders in the run-up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics [official website]." In August 2007, Human Rights Watch reported that China, fearing that activists will embarrass the party by highlighting political and social problems during the games, is clamping down on human rights activists [press release; JURIST report] and other political dissidents and silencing independent media coverage. The same month, Amnesty International reported [text; press release] 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.
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