Chinese Authorities Formally Arrest Zhang Lin
Chinese authorities formally arrested Zhang Lin for inciting the subversion of state power, reports Agence France Presse (AFP). Public security authorities evidently informed Fang Caofang, Zhang's wife, about the move on March 19. As the CECC noted in its 2004 Annual Report, Chinese authorities often use vague and overbroad national security laws to silence critics of the Party and the central government. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported on February 8 that Chinese authorities had informed Fang Caofang that Zhang had been ordered to serve two weeks administrative detention. According to RSF, security authorities arrested Zhang on January 29 in Bengbu, Anhui province, for posting articles on various Web sites. RSF subsequently reported that, just as Zhang was to be released from administrative detention, Chinese police told Fang Caofang that they were holding Zhang in "criminal detention" for threatening state security.
AFP: China Arrests Dissident Who Tried To Honour Deposed Leader Zhao Zhiyang
CPP20050319000046 Hong Kong AFP in English 0503 GMT 19 Mar 05
[FBIS Transcribed Text]
BEIJING, March 19 (AFP) -- China has formally arrested a dissident who travelled to Beijing to mourn the death of deposed leader Zhao Ziyang, more than a month after he was detained, his wife said Saturday.
Police authorities informed Zhang Lin's wife Fang Caofang early Saturday that he was charged for "allegedly inciting the subversion of state power," she told AFP.
Zhang has been detained since January 29, when he and fellow dissident Wang Tingjin were picked up by police at the train station in his home city of Bengbu in the eastern province of Anhui on their return from Beijing.
The pair had earlier tried to go the capital to pay their respects to Zhao but their request to attend his funeral was rejected by the funeral committee set up by the communist party.
Police are yet to release further details about the charges, although Fang said she believed his visit to Beijing angered authorities because they had earlier warned him not to make the trip.
Zhang, 42, is a core member of a newly formed committee set up by prominent dissidents to honour the memory of Zhao.
His political writing published on the Internet, much of which criticises the communist regime, is also likely to have led to his arrest, she said.
If convicted, Zhang is likely to be imprisoned for at least five years, lawyers told Fang.
"I nearly collapsed when I heard about this, this is too much to bear," Fang said.
"My daughter is only two and she has been asking me every day where daddy has gone."
An official at the Bengbu Number One Detention Centre, at which Fang said Zhang is kept, denied Zhang was there.
An official at the Bengbu city police said he had no knowledge of Zhang.
Zhang had previously been imprisoned for a total of eight years in China's "Re-education through Labour" system for taking part in pro-democracy activities.
Zhao died on January 17 aged 85 and was cremated in a government-controlled ceremony in Beijing amid authorities' nervousness that the popular leader's death might spark off protests.
The former premier and communist party secretary general, who launched China's market reforms in the 1980s, was purged in 1989 after opposing the decision to use force against pro-democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square.
[Description of Source: Hong Kong AFP in English -- Hong Kong service of the independent French press agency Agence France-Presse]
THIS REPORT MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL. COPYING AND DISSEMINATION IS PROHIBITED WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE COPYRIGHT OWNERS.
Sub-Region: East Asia
Topic: DISSENT, HUMAN RIGHTS, DOMESTIC POLITICAL
Document ID: CPP20050319000046
Version Number: 1