Amnesty International condemns harsh sentence for activist Chen Wei

The nine-year jail sentence handed down to activist Chen Wei for writing critical articles about the Communist Party is unacceptable, Amnesty International said today, and urged Chinese authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally.

Chen Wei was sentenced for “inciting subversion of state power”. His lawyer, Zheng Jianwei, said the trial lasted less than two hours and added that his family said he would not appeal.

“Chen Wei is being punished for peacefully expressing his ideas,” said Catherine Baber, Deputy Asia-Pacific Director for Amnesty International.

“I wish we could say we were surprised by this sentence, but we have seen the Chinese government use this vague charge of “incitement” over and over to silence its critics and suppress discussion of human rights and political change,” she added.

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