Chinese dissident, Zhu Yufu, jailed for 7 years over poem

Chinese veteran dissident, Zhu Yufu, was sentenced to seven years in prison over a power he wrote, Reuters reported.

Zhu Ang, son of the jailed dissident, said his father was jailed for “inciting subversion of state power” by a court in Hangzhou in eastern China. He was tried on Jan. 31, when prosecutors cited a poem and messages he wrote on the internet, Reuters reported.

"The court verdict said this was a serious crime that deserved stern punishment," said Zhu Ang, 31, Reuters reported. "Now my mother is terribly upset, even if we saw this coming."

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"Basically, the only chance that my father had to say anything was when he was being taken out after the hearing, and he stopped and said: 'I want to appeal.'"

According to Reuters, the poem said, "It's time, Chinese people! It's time. The Square belongs to all." Zhu’s reference to the “square” could be connected to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, during the 1989 pro-democracy protests.

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The poem was posted online and Zhu was arrested last April, the BBC reported. Prosecutors also brought up text messages he sent using Skype. The court ruled his poem, entitled “It’s Time,” was pushing people to gather in support of freedom and he deserved a severe punishment for it, the BBC reported.

Zhu was also convicted for collecting donations for relatives of dissidents in prison, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported. Zhu is the fourth known activist to receive an unusually lengthy sentence in the last seven weeks.

Zhu will turn 59 this month and is considered a veteran activist. He was involved in the 1979 Democracy Wall movement and has been jailed twice before for his activism, once in 1999 for seven years and in 2007 for two years, the BBC reported.

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