Veteran Political Dissident Zhu Yufu Appeals Seven-Year Sentence on Subversion Charge

China Aid Association

(Hangzhou, Zhejiang—Feb. 14, 2012) Veteran political dissident Zhu Yufu, sentenced last week to a seven-year prison term on a subversion charge, on Tuesday appealed the sentence.

The appeal papers, which Zhu signed on Monday when his defense lawyer, Li Dunyong, visited him in the Hangzhou detention center where he is being held, were filed with the Zhejiang Higher People’s Court on Tuesday, the same day that Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping was in Washington, D.C. to meet with U.S. President Obama. Xi was formerly the Zhejiang provincial party secretary and is now a member of the Politburo Standing Committee.

U.S. congressional and religious leaders have called on Obama to press China more publicly about its deteriorating human rights record and have raised the cases of six imprisoned human rights activists and political dissidents whose releases they want the U.S. President to discuss with Xi.

Zhu was arrested on March 5, 2011, around the time of the Arab Jasmine Revolution, for posting an online poem called “It’s Time.” He was held without trial until Jan. 31, when his case was heard by the Hangzhou Intermediate Court. The brief morning hearing concluded with the court saying it would rule on sntencing on another day.

On Feb. 10, the court reconvened and announced the seven-year sentence. Zhu spoke only once during the proceedings: to tell his lawyers he wanted to appeal.

The court’s ruling said that Zhu’s year in custody would count as time served, leaving a balance of a little over six years remaining to be served. It also said that not only would Zhu face a heavier penalty if he were to commit another criminal offense within five years of finishing his current prison term, but since he had already previously been imprisoned for endangering national security, he would be severely punished as a repeat offender.

Zhu’s conviction and sentence were based in whole or in part in the following articles of China’s penal code: According to China’s penal code: Article 25, Article 65, Article 66, Article 56, Article 55 and Article 64. The judgment said that:

1. The defendant, Zhu Yufu, is found guilty of inciting subversion of state power and is sentenced to seven years in prison with deprivation of political rights for three years. (Term to be served starting from the day of conviction, but time in detention will be counted towards the sentence; therefore, the prison term will run from March 5, 2011 to March 4, 2018.)

2. The instrument of the crime, the computer CPU (brand JNC) will be confiscated.
Presiding Judge Zhang Yuzhen, Judge Nie Qing, Acting Judge Liu Hongshui.

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