(Sichuan, China—July 19, 2019) Zisu, who is an emeritus professor at Yunnan Provincial Party School of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been advocating for a direct election in the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCPC), was sentenced to four years in prison by a Sichuan court on a subversion charge. Afterward, he gave up appealing and has been serving his sentence for the last month. Recently, his family was allowed to visit him.
Ziping, Zisu’s elder sister, visited him in Deyang Prison on July 5. On July 17, Ziping said that Zisu decided not to appeal in the end, so he was transferred to the prison on June 11 and has been jailed there. She is the first family member who was allowed to visit him and their meeting happened in the lobby, separated by glass. Because her brother is closely monitored, two prison officers stood next to him, which was not something other prisoners had to undergo. Her brother’s health is okay, but his memory is deteriorating and he is slow in responding, but his physical report doesn’t show that he is sick.
Ziping said, “(Zisu) is closely monitored because others had more flexibility to chat with their families while I visited him. However, he was escorted by police on both the left and right side when I met with him. The notice of our meeting states that he is a felon who endangers national security.”
Also, she said that Zisu looked good mentally. He told her that the prison was better than the detention center. Zisu was given 100 yuan ($14.53 USD) for daily necessities each month. Despite the shortage of pocket money, conditions are better than the detention center. Zisu disclosed that he was imprisoned with two other people. Because he is over 60 years old, he is exempt from work, but he can take a walk and have reading time. Zisu is a Christian, so his sister brought him a Bible and an economics book, but the prison didn’t let him read the Bible.
One of Zisu’s friends pointed out that Zisu had a hard time when being detained at the detention center and wanted to serve his sentence in a prison sooner, which was the reason Zisu gave up appealing. Although ChinaAid believes that Zisu didn’t commit a crime from a legal perspective, Zisu thinks that the verdict won’t be changed if he appeals, which would result in postponing his being able to serve his sentence in prison.
His friend said, “After he (Zisu) was transferred to prison, his family and elder sister could visit him per the prison laws and regulations. If he was in the detention center, nobody could visit him. With consideration of this factor, he has chosen to give up appealing and would like to be transferred to the prison sooner.”
On April 28, 2017, Zisu posted an open letter on WeChat as a CCP member, advocating for a direct election of the secretary general of the 19th NCCPC. On May 11, he was put under criminal detention by the Chengdu Municipal National Security Bureau. On June 14, he was arrested on an inciting subversion charge. On Dec.29, he was prosecuted on a charge of inciting subversion of state power. On Dec. 7, 2018, the trial was held secretly in the Chengdu Municipal Intermediate Court, and two lawyers were assigned by the government, even though initially, he did not have government-assigned attorneys. On April 15, 2019, Zisu was sentenced to four years behind bars and given a three-year deprivation of political rights.
In October 2016, Zisu was seized by state security officers because of participating in human rights events and later was held under criminal detention on a charge of inciting subversion by the national security bureau. A month later, he was released on bail. Zisu used to be a teacher at the Yunnan Provincial Party School of CCP, during which he served as a vice-county magistrate, and he retired in 2014.
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