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Activist Free after Ten-Year Term; Three Writers to Be Released This Month

May 5, 2011

Hunan-based labor rights activist Li Wangyang (李旺阳) was released today, after serving 10 years in the Hunan Provincial No. 1 Prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” His family confirmed his return to his hometown in Shaoyang, Hunan Province. Li is subjected to four years of deprivation of political rights (DPR) after his release. (See HRIC’s translation of the DPR regulation at end of this press release.)

The following are brief profiles of Li and three other individuals –  Chen Daojun (陈道军), Luo Yongquan (罗勇泉), and Sun Lin (孙林, pen name Jie Mu[孑木]) – who are scheduled to be released this month. The crimes they were charged with range from “inciting subversion of state power” to “publishing poems attacking the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government.”

Li Wangyang(李旺阳), labor rights activist
Scheduled release date: May 5, 2011
Facility: Hunan Provincial No. 1 Prison, Yiyang, Hunan Province
Length of term served: 10 years
Crime convicted: Inciting subversion of state power (煽动颠覆国家政权罪)
Post-prison restrictions: Four years of DPR

Li Wangyang is one of the earliest advocates for independent labor unions in China and, in 1989, founded the Shaoyang Autonomous Workers Union. Starting in 2000, following his release from an 11-year prison sentence for participating in the 1989 Democracy Movement, Li repeatedly petitioned the Shaoyang municipal government in Hunan Province to pay for treatment for the heart disease, neck problems, vision and hearing problems, and other health conditions he developed during his incarceration. In 2001, Li was prosecuted and convicted after declaring a hunger strike over the inadequate compensation he received and announcing his intention to bring his case to the attention of the international community.  

Chen Daojun (陈道军), writer, political commentator, rights activist
Scheduled release date: May 8, 2011
Facility:  Chuanzhong Prison, Nanchong, Sichuan Province
Length of term served:  Three years
Crime convicted: Inciting subversion of state power (煽动颠覆国家政权罪)
Post-prison restrictions: Three years of DPR

Chen is the author of a number of articles in support of democratic reform.  In May 2008, Chen was detained and prosecuted after supporting local environmental protests against a petrochemical production project and publishing commentary entitled “Chengdu Citizens Facing Extinction: Wake Up at Once” (赶快起来,面临绝种的成都人) on an overseas website called Fire of Liberty. His published articles include “What Shall We Do after the 17th National People’s Congress?” (十七大后怎么办?) and “The People Revolt against Exploitation by Officials: A Tribute to the Heroic Tibetans” (官逼民反—向英勇抗争的藏民致敬). The verdict stated that his articles “incited the subversion of state power and the overturning the socialist system with falsehoods and libel” (以造谣、诽谤的方式煽动颠覆国家政权、推翻社会主义制度).

Luo Yongquan (罗勇泉), freelance writer, poet, and Charter 08 signer
Scheduled release date: May 19, 2011
Facility:  Reeducation-Through-Labor (RTL) Facility of Sanshui District, Foshan, Guangdong Province
Length of term served:  Two years of RTL
Crime convicted: Publishing poems attacking the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government (公开发表攻击党和政府的诗歌)
Post-prison restrictions: None

Luo was a participant in the banned China Democratic Party in 1998. In 2001-2004, he served three years of RTL for activities deemed “anti-party and anti-socialism.” (反党反社会主义). In spring 2009, he was summoned for questioning by police seven times about his poems and for his signing of Charter 08. He was taken into custody in May.

Sun Lin (孙林) (pen name Jie Mu [孑木]), reporter
Scheduled release date: May 29, 2011
Facility:  Pukou Prison, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
Length of term served:  Four years
Crime convicted: “Illegal possession of arms” (非法持有枪支罪) and “gathering a crowd to disturb the social order” (聚众扰乱社会秩序罪)
Post-prison restrictions: None

Sun worked as a reporter for Boxun, an overseas Chinese language news and information website, for which he wrote articles on incidents of eviction, land requisition and civil servants beating street vendors. His reporting led to the temporary suspension of at least two force evictions in Jiangsu in 2006 and 2007. It also prompted threats by the Nanjing authorities, who demanded that he give up his “illegal reporting work.” In May 2007, Sun was detained, along with his wife and twenty people. Sun was later convicted of “illegal possession of arms” and “gathering a crowd to disturb the social order.” Sun and his lawyers maintained that Sun was innocent.

Regulations on the Supervision and Administration by Public Security Organs of Criminals Who Have Been Put Under Surveillance, Deprived of Political Rights, Given Reprieve, Given Parole, or Released on Bail for Medical Treatment
(公安机关对被管制、剥夺政治权利、缓刑、假释、保外就医罪犯的监督管理规定)

Translation by HRIC

Article 12. Public security organs shall announce to the criminal whose political rights are being deprived that he must abide by the following provisions during the deprivation period:

  1. Abide by national laws and regulations and relevant Ministry of Public Security regulations;
  2. Shall not enjoy the right to vote or stand for election;
  3. Shall not organize or participate in any gatherings, marches, demonstrations, or forming associations;
  4. Shall not accept interviews or give speeches;
  5. Shall not issue, publish, or distribute discussions, books, or recordings which are detrimental to the state’s honor and interests or otherwise endanger society domestically or abroad;
  6. Shall not hold a position in any state organ;
  7. Shall not hold a leadership position in any enterprise, state-run institution, or civic organization;
  8. Abide by the specific supervision and administration measures set out by the public security organs.

For more information on Li Wangyang, see:

For more information on Chen Daojun, see:

For more information on Luo Yongquan, see:

For more information on Sun Lin, see:

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