China: Seven year sentence for poet shows government is afraid, says Amnesty
Amnesty International today (10 February) condemned the Chinese government’s sentencing of veteran activist and poet Zhu Yufu. He was sentenced to seven years for writing a poem deemed subversive of state power, as further evidence of the state’s continuing repression of anyone it perceives as directly or indirectly criticising it policies.
Amnesty International's China Researcher, Sarah Schafer said:
“Amnesty International condemns this direct and unjustified assault on Zhu Yufu’s basic human right to freedom of expression.
"We believe this is a sign that the Chinese leadership is afraid. Why else would they sentence someone to seven years in prison for writing a poem?
“The Chinese government has seen the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. It has seen the people coming out in the tens of thousands to protest a repressive regime in Russia. And it has seen the Chinese people themselves grow stronger in their demands for more freedoms and a say over their country's future. And now the leaders at the very top have clearly given out orders that any hint of dissent must be crushed,
“For many years the Chinese government has stamped on dissent and today’s decision should be seen in the context of a growing demand in the country for more freedom.