Democracy advocate released, immediately placed under house arrest

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Zhu Yufu on March 4, just after his release.
He still has not been allowed to see his friends
and family. (Photo: ChinaAid)

(Hangzhou, Zhejiang—March 8, 2018) After serving the full term of a seven-year prison sentence, renowned democracy advocate Zhu Yufu was released on March 4, but authorities immediately placed him on a forced vacation under house arrest.

Zhu Yufu was taken into police custody on March 5, 2011, accused of “inciting subversion of state power” after he wrote a poem titled “It’s Time,” which encouraged Chinese citizens to stand up for their rights. In 2012, he was sentenced to seven years in prison, to be followed by three additional years of deprivation of his political rights.

A fellow dissident in Zhejiang, Xu Guangzhou, reported that Zhu Yufu was released from the Fourth Provincial Prison and taken home. However, soon after, he was taken by domestic security officers for a “vacation” at Hangzhou Qiandao Lake. His wife, Jiang Hangli, is reportedly with him.

Zhu’s friends and family believe he will be kept on this forced vacation for the duration of the annual National Lianghui. The Lianghui, which means “two sessions,” is when China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and its highest advisory council, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) meet to pass legislation each year.

The CPPCC’s session commenced March 3, and the NPC’s began March 5. The sessions are expected to last until mid-March.

Though Zhu’s family and friends have not seen him for a long time, they fear for his health. In pictures provided to the family, Zhu, who is now 65 years old, reportedly appeared very sick, with parts of his body swollen.

Zhu is a native of Hangzhou and has served 16 years in prison across three incarcerations. He was one of the founding members of China’s Democracy Party, which was banned by the Communist Party. His involvement led to his first arrest in 1998 for “inciting subversion of state power.” On that charge he was sentenced to seven years in prison, with three years of deprivation of political rights.

Following his release in 2006, he continued to promote democracy, which led to another arrest in May 2007, where he was sentenced to two years in prison for “obstructing government business.” He had only been released for two years from this sentence when he was re-arrested in 2011 for the “It’s Time” poem.

Zhu’s unfaltering commitment to democracy has garnered support for his cause across the world. On Feb. 15, 2017, Zhu’s case was adopted by U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL 14) and brought before the House of Representatives.

ChinaAid reports on the cases of prisoners of conscience like Zhu Yufu in order to raise awareness of human rights abuses and support dissidents who stand for justice, truth, and freedom for all citizens.

ChinaAid Media Team
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