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Writers in Prison (4)

Chen Wei (陈卫, DOB: Feb 21, 1969), a native of Suining City, Sichuan Province, was a 1989 Tiananmen student protester from the Beijing Institute of Technology, majoring in mechanical engineering. He was imprisoned in Qincheng Prison and released in January 1991. In May 1992, Chen was again arrested for commemorating June 4 and organizing a political party on the charge of “counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement”, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

In February 2011, Chen was taken into custody during the “Jasmine Revolution” crackdown after posting four articles online about democracy and human rights. In December, Chen was rendered guilty by the Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan Province for “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to nine years in prison and two years’ deprivation of political rights. Chen Wei was not allowed to make any statement before he was rushed out of the courtroom while he was heard saying “I am not guilty! Constitutional democracy will win, dictatorship will be defeated!”

Below are the links to the four essays, allegedly written and published between March 2009 and January 2011, that the Suining Municipal People’s Procuratorate offers in their two-page indictment as “evidence” of inciting subversion (Criminal Law art. 105(2)):

-       “The Disease of the System and the Medicine of Constitutional Democracy” (

-       “The Key to China’s Democratization is the Growth of a Civil Opposition” (

-       “The Feet of the Rights Defense and the Brain of the Constitutional Democracy” (

-       “Thoughts on Human Rights Day Hunger Strike” (

The indictment also references specific language contained in these essays as “evidence” of “spreading rumors” and “defamation”:  “people have been deprived of their thoughts and beliefs”, “the Chinese Communist Party uses the machinery of violence to control the people”, and the CCP is the “enemy of democracy”, and “everyone has seen clearly the anti-humanity nature of the CCP”. The indictment further points to the following phrases in Chen’s essays as “evidence” of “incitement”: “the death knell for the one-party dictatorship has been sounded”, “this system must be changed”, and “use street protests to promote politics among the people”.

More essays (in Chinese) by Chen Wei:



Protesting against the organizers of the London Book Fair 2012 who have not featured in their programme any writers imprisoned by the Chinese regime, this blog will be highlighting one such writer every day leading to the book fair. Although this will only show the tip of the iceberg of today’s ‘literary persecution’ under the rule of the CCP, I hope it will make more people realize the necessity of our daily question: Why haven’t British Council and London Book Fair invited Liu Xiaobo and other writers imprisoned by the CCP?


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