Skip to content Skip to navigation

Veteran Guizhou Activist Chen Xi Sentenced to Ten Years

December 26, 2011

On the morning of December 26, the Guiyang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of Guizhou Province sentenced veteran dissident and human rights activist Chen Xi (陈西), to ten years prison and three years’ deprivation of political right for “inciting subversion of state power.” This heavy sentence follows the nine-year term imposed on Sichuan dissident Chen Wei (陈卫) three days ago. Chen Xi insists on his innocence but will not appeal.

Chen Xi’s wife, Zhang Qunxuan (张群选), told Human Rights in China, “The court hearing started at 9 a.m. and concluded by 12:30 p.m. The prosecution against Chen Xi was based upon his publication of 36 articles overseas. Chen Xi’s lawyers, Sun Guangquan (孙光全) and Bai Min (白敏), defended him on his not-guilty plea. In his self-defense in court, Chen Xi stated, ‘All the activities I have been engaged in are just and honorable, all in the open. Since I was released from prison on 2005, State Security has had communications with me on a weekly basis. They are aware of everything that I have been doing, and everything can be put on the table. So why had the law enforcement [authorities] not pointed out that I was committing a crime?’ When the presiding judge allowed Chen Xi to make his final statement, Chen Xi said, ‘I am a law-abiding person. I respect the court’s decision; I will not appeal.’”

Zhang added, “We made a final request to see Chen Xi, but the presiding judge denied the request. They are really heartless. The prosecution took his writings out of context. Actually, Chen Xi was calling for democracy and human rights. This wish was [his] whole crime!”

 “The Chinese authorities’ ongoing tactic of imprisoning Chinese citizens will not address the deepening social conflicts in China. Instead, it will intensify them,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China. “The march of heavy sentences imposed on democracy activists should be a wake-up call to the international community: China is at a critical crossroads and these activists need effective and immediate support.”

This is Chen Xi’s third prison sentence. During the period of the 1989 Democracy Movement, he was sentenced to three years for establishing the Patriotic and Democratic Federation. After his release, he continued to work for democracy and engage in human rights activities. He was sentenced to another ten years in March 1996 for organizing the Guizhou branch of the China Democracy Party, and pressing for redress for the 1989 crackdown. While in prison, he was beaten savagely and repeatedly by other prisoners reportedly instigated by the prison authorities.

After his release from prison in 2005, Chen Xi and other Guizhou activists established the First Guizhou Citizens International Human Rights Symposium that they subsequently convened on a yearly basis. On this foundation, they formed the Guizhou Human Rights Seminar, a weekly study and discussion session, to promote human rights. On the eve of International Human Rights Day this year, the local authorities banned the seminar as an illegal organization.

For more information on Chen Xi and rights defenders in Guizhou, see:

Explore Topics

Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention Arbitrary Detention Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue
Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship Children Chinese Law
Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists Citizen Participation Civil Society Communist Party Of China Consumer Safety
Corruption Counterterrorism Cultural Revolution Culture Matters Current and Political Events Cyber Security
Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents Economic Reform Education
Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China Family Planning Farmers
Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion Government Accountability Government regulation
Government transparency Great Leap Forward Heilongjiang Lawyers’ Detention Historical Anecdotes History/Experience Hong Kong
House Arrest House Church Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights updates Ideological Contest
Illegal Search And Detention Inciting Subversion Of State Power Information Control  Information monitoring Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT)
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights International Investment  International Relations International Trade International Window
Internet Internet Governance Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping Labor Camps
Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System Legal World
Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo) National People's Congress (NPC) New Citizens Movement
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics Online Activism Open Government Information Personal Story Persons With Disabilities
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Propaganda
Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor Rights Defenders Rights Defense
Rule Of Law Southern Street Movement Southern Weekly Special Topic State compensation State Secrets
State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Taiwan Technology Thoughts/Theories
Tiananmen Mothers Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations Uyghurs, Uighurs
Vulnerable Groups Women Xinjiang Youth Youth Perspective