Beijing - Former Tiananmen hero and democracy activist Liu Xianbin, has been arrested by police and charged with "incitement to subvert state power" for articles on the internet. The news was given yesterday by the dissident’s wife Chen Mingxian, who confirmed that Liu was arrested last June 28 after a raid on his home in Suining (Sichuan).
Liu Xianbin was released about a year ago from prison, where he had served ten years once again for "inciting subversion of state power."
A group of activists have now launched a digital on-line campaign to support him entitled "I am Liu Xianbin”. Some of them were stopped by police and warned "not to get too deeply involved" in these activities.
Liu, 41, is a founding member of the Democratic Party, condemned for this ("incitement etc. ..) to 13 years in prison in 1999. He was released in November 2008 for good behaviour. His lawyer Ma Xiaopeng says he has not been allowed to see the prosecution’s evidence and does not know for articles Liu was arrested.
Liu also participated in the Tiananmen Square movement of ‘89 and was arrested for this in 1991 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. After his release in 2008 he continued to write articles in support of democracy and signed the Charter 08 document, which calls for political reform and religious freedom and for the Chinese government to implement a true society respectful of human rights. One of the drafters of the Charter 08, Liu Xiaobo, was sentenced last Christmas to 11 years in prison forever for "incitement to subvert state power." Liu had written articles in defence of Liu Xiaobo.
A few days ago, another signatory of Charter 08 was stopped by police and threatened with arrest. This is the famous writer Yu Jie, who is about to distribute a book critical of Premier Wen Jiabao. On 4 July, Yu was detained by police and interrogated for four hours, then threatened that if he published the book he will be condemned, since the book "endangers national security."
Yu said that the police assured him "a sentence as heavy as that of Liu Xiaobo”.
Yu, who founded the Pen Centre in China, an association of independent writers and journalists, is a Protestant Christian. His books are banned in China.