20 February 2008

Yang Chunlin

Yang Chunlin, a Chinese land-rights activist was arrested and his trail has begun. He's charged with "incitement to subvert state power" because he used the slogan, "Human Rights Over the Olympics."

From Radio Free Asia:

“My brother insisted that he was innocent and was just expressing his thoughts, arguing that thoughts could not constitute a crime,” Yang Chunping [Chunlin's sister] said. “His thoughts and deeds were for defending the rights of local farmers. He said again that ‘We do want human rights but not the Olympic Games.’”

Yang also told the court that in nearby Fujin city, where he had campaigned for farmers’ rights, farmers had lost their land, had nothing to eat, and couldn’t afford to send their children to school.

“Why should we spend billions of yuan on the Olympics?” Yang asked the court. “‘Human rights over the Olympics’ is indeed an expression of my thoughts. Why am I not allowed to say that?”

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