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Chinese dissident poet charged with subversion

Veteran democracy activist Zhu Yufu has been charged with attempting to subvert the state by writing the poem urging the Chinese people to “use your feet and take to the square”.

Democracy supporters protest against Beijing's crackdown on dissidents and clash with police on China's National Day in Hong Kong Saturday, Oct 1, 2011.
Democracy supporters protest against Beijing's crackdown on dissidents and clash with police on China's National Day in Hong Kong Saturday, Oct 1, 2011.
Image: Kin Cheung/AP/Press Association Images

A DISSIDENT WRITER in China has been charged with “subversion” by the country’s authorities for writing a poem urging citizens to defend their freedoms .

Veteran democracy activist Zhu Yufu, 58, was charged in the eastern city of Hangzhou with attempting to subvert the state by writing the poem and publishing it online, according to his lawyer.

The poem - entitled It’s Time - states: “It’s time, Chinese people! / The square belongs to everyone / the feet are yours / it’s time to use your feet and take to the square to make a choice.”

Zhu’s lawyer, Li Dunyong, said that a date for the trial had not yet been set but added that Zhu was in “good condition,” reports the BBC.

Zhu has been jailed twice before for his pro-democracy activism: in 1999 for seven years, for helping to found the China Democratic Party, and then again in 2007 for two years for pushing a police officer while being arrested, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

A list of high-profile pro-democracy activists have been arrested in China in recent months – a move that has been seen as an attempt by the government’s to prevent ‘Arab Spring’ style dissent in the country.

Read: Supporters send cash to cover dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s €1.7m tax bill>

Read: China rounds up more critics on anniversary of Tiananmen protests>

Read: Is China using the Middle East as a smokescreen to gag dissenters?>

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