On the September 4, Chen Pingfu (陈平福), a former math and science teacher, was tried in a court in Lanzhou, Gansu Province for “inciting subversion of state power.” The court did not issue a verdict.
In 2005, Chen started playing violin on the street in Lanzhou on weekends to repay debts he had incurred for heart surgery. He was repeatedly harassed by local authorities in Lanzhou and began blogging about his ordeals and the cruelty of city officials. In August 2012, the Lanzhou procuratorate charged him with “inciting subversion of state power,” basing its indictment on 34 articles posted on his blogs.
After Chen’s trial, his story spread on the Internet and, on September 9, Sun Yat-sen University professor and documentary filmmaker Ai Xiaoming (艾晓明) initiated a signature campaign to protest his prosecution. As of September 13, 2012, 323 people have signed, including well-known scholars, writers, and rights defenders inside China and abroad.
There is no indication when the court will rule. It was reported that on September 13, the police officers who have been monitoring Chen left. Chen has been under residential surveillance since June 27, 2012.
Below is an English translation of the indictment by Human Rights in China. For additional background information on Chen, we are including an essay below, written by Yaxue Cao, based on Chen’s blog posts listed in the indictment.