Anhui Court Tries Writer Zhang Lin on Subversion Charges
Chinese writer Zhang Lin pleaded innocent to charges of subversion at a hearing in the Intermediate People's Court in Bengbu, Anhui province, Agence France Presse and the Committee to Protect Journalists reported on June 21. According to CPJ, the indictment against Zhang charged that he "used the Internet, overseas radio transmissions, and other such media to openly disseminate language that misrepresents and denigrates the national authorities and the socialist system, and which incites subversion of state power and the overthrow of the socialist system under Article 105 of China's criminal law."
Police detained Zhang at a Bengbu train station on January 29, and initially ordered him to serve two weeks administrative detention. In February Reporters Without Borders reported that Chinese police had informed Zhang's wife that he was being held in "criminal detention" for threatening state security. On March 19 AFP reported public security authorities informed Zhang's wife that authorities had formally arrested Zhang Lin for inciting the subversion of state power.
Mo Shaoping, Zhang's lawyer, said that the evidence against Zhang was based on six articles that he wrote and one interview he gave to the press, according to AFP. Mo said one article cited as evidence of subversive writing included the lyrics to a Chinese punk rock song, which said: "The Yellow River should run dry, this society should collapse, this system should be destroyed, this race should become extinct, this country should perish." According to AFP, the prosecution maintained that Zhang's Internet essays "damaged national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, spread falsehoods, disturbed social order, and damaged social stability."
According to CPJ, Mo also said that although the court did not announce when it would deliver a verdict, the process may take two to four weeks.