Three men were handed jail sentences for up to a decade in a secret trial last year for “inciting subversion of state power” through their criticisms of former president Jiang Zemin. The details of the trial have only now emerged through a Hong Kong-based rights organisation, writes Will Clem of the South China Morning Post:
Seventy-year-old Lu Jiaping , a former soldier and writer on military history, his wife Yu Junyi , 71, and their associate, 58-year-old Jin Andi , are believed to have been punished for a series of articles critical of former president Jiang Zemin , according to the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
Although the three were sentenced in May – Lu jailed for 10 years, Jin for eight and Yu given a three-year sentence suspended for five years – the details were not made public, and relatives had been uncertain of their whereabouts since their apparent disappearance in September 2010.
“According to people aware of the situation, Yu Junyi has been under residential surveillance since the sentencing, only gaining freedom recently, and the families of the three people only learned of the sentences in the past few days,” the centre’s statement said.
The verdict against Lu had been reported earlier by another rights group, China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), but no mention of the other two was made at the time.
CHRD wrote in a briefing dated May 25 that the prison sentence was “believed to come in retaliation for recent works by Lu arguing that former president Jiang Zemin was a `traitor’ and questioning his background and political credentials”.
In July last year, Hong Kong broadcaster ATV and several foreign news outlets wrongly reported that the former paramount leader had passed away. Xinhua News Agency was quick to refute the rumours, and Jiang subsequently showed up at the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Xinhua Revolution a few months later, frail but still alive.