China: Wang Lihong, an ordinary woman who scares Beijing

world | Aug 04, 2011 | By Asia News

Beijing – Wang Lihong is an ordinary person who mobilises “other to fight problems such as corruption or miscarriages of justice,” said Ai Xiaoming and other rights activists who have launched an online petition for her release.

Wang’s defence attorney Han Yicun said she was arrested in Beijing in late March like other activists and pro-democracy advocates as the authorities feared Jasmine Revolution-like protests.

She is accused of “creating a disturbance”, an offence that is not clearly defined but which carries up to five years in prison.

In April 2010 she participated in a protest outside a courthouse in Fuzhou, chanting slogans on behalf of bloggers who had been charged for helping an illiterate woman seeking the reinvestigation of her daughter’s death.

“That crucial step of moving protests from online to real social-political space is precisely what worries authorities,” said Renee Xia, international director of the rights group Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Beijing tightly censors all the news, including natural disasters. However, it has not been able to muzzle the internet, as was recently the case with the Wenzhou train disaster.

Wang also openly celebrated the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to pro-democracy dissident Liu Xiaobo last October.

“I think the most important thing is that every person learns how to be their own citizen, and not become someone else's subordinate,” Wang told the reporters at that time. “Now everyone must know their human rights and be able to guarantee this.”


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