Appeal Denied - November 15, 1996
A Chinese court rejected Wang Dan's appeal of
his 11-year prison, giving him not a single chance to
speak in a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes. Only
the judge spoke, announcing the Beijing Higher Level
People's Court decision upholding the trial court's
verdict, said Wang's mother, Wang Lingyun.
Wang Dan was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for plotting to overthrow the Chinese government.
Amnesty International commented on the
trial: "Wang Dan's trial was a parody of justice. It
is clear that the verdict and sentence against him had
been decided in advance and that he had no chance of
receiving a fair trial... Wang Dan should never have been
put on trial in the first place. He has done nothing but
write articles expressing his views and had contact with dissidents
in China and overseas."
Independent observers were excluded
from the hearing, even though Chinese official sources had
announced in advance that the trial would be open to the
public. Foreign journalists and diplomats who had asked
to attend the trial were prevented from entering the
courtroom by cordons of security officials. Amnesty
International, who had also asked to attend, was told by a
Chinese embassy official on 28 October that the trial was
an "internal matter" and "outsiders" were
Wang Dan Charged - October 29, 1996
After 17 months of silence, the Chinese government has formally brought charges against dissident Wang Dan. The charges include conspiracy to overthrow the government, including publishing anti-government articles while abroad, raising money to support needy dissidents, and accepting a scholarship from the University of California. The charges carry an expected sentence of at least 10 years in prison.
Wang Dan has spent the last 17 months in detention at a secret police center, where he was not allowed visits from his family.
Wang is accused of publishing critical articles in overseas newspapers and magazines in the 3 years following his release from jail. He was also accused of taking part in home-study courses organized by the University of California and for accepting a scholarship to finance his study. Further, Chinese authorities accused him of raising money to ease the lives of dissidents who have been thrown out of jobs, denied diplomas, or been unable to find jobs because they were under heavy surveillance. He is also accused of accepting donations and economic aid from overseas organizations.
Wang said he had done nothing wrong, and the charges against him were groundless, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said in a statement.
"Of course he has done nothing to violate Chinese law,'' his father, Wang Xian, said in an interview. He said his son was coughing often, and that the family was worried about his health.
Wang was a Beijing University who helped lead the demonstrations that swept Beijing in 1989. He was No. 1 on the government's most-wanted list after the military violently quelled the protests in Beijing in June 1989.
He was convicted of agitation against the government and sentenced to prison. After he was released in 1993, Wang again worked for political reform. Police took him into detention last year after he organized the signing of a petition calling for freedom and tolerance.
Wang's latest trial is set to begin on Wednesday, October 30, 1996.
Support Democracy in China continues to support Wang Dan's struggle for freedom.
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