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CHINA:TWO CYBER-DISSIDENTS FORMALLY CHARGED WITH SUBVERSION

(Oct. 19, 2006)Reporters Without Borders today reiterated its call for the release of two members of the independent writers organisation PEN, Zhang Jianhong and Chen Shuqing, who have both been formally charged in the past week with "inciting subversion of state authority."

This sort of charge, condemned on more than one occasion in the past by Reporters Without Borders as a "legal absurdity," is often brought against independent journalists and cyber-dissidents as a way to sentence them to up to ten years in prison.


Zhang, who is better known by the pseudonym of Li Hong, was arrested on 6 September in Ningbo, in the eastern province du Zhejiang, and was charged on 12 October. Chen was arrested on 14 September in Hangzhou, which is also in Zhejiang province, and was charged yesterday.

Both are pro-democracy activists and both have previously been imprisoned for posting articles on the Internet advocating political reforms. For more information on their cases, go to: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=18898

Another cyber-dissident, Yang Maodong, was recently arrested. Better known by the pseudonym of Guo Feixiong, he was arrested on 14 September and was charged with "illegal business activities" on 28 September. For more information on his case, go to: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=15231 (boxun.com)

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