UN rights chief concerned about harsh sentencing of Chen Wei

Navi Pillay

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has expressed deep concern over the harsh sentencing of a leading Chinese human rights activist, Chen Wei.

Chen Wei was sentenced to 9 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” as a result of his involvement in drafting articles for overseas websites, including Democratic China, Human Rights in China and Chine E-Weekly.

He has pleaded not guilty and insists that he was exercising his freedom of opinion as guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.

Pillay said the sentencing represented another setback for the protection and promotion of human rights in China.

The High Commissioner noted that the case comes just one week after Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to three years' imprisonment just before the end of his suspended sentence.

Chen Wei was one of the student leaders in the 1989 Democracy Movement and has already spent more than five years in prison for his peaceful expression of dissent.

Navi Pillay has called on the Chinese authorities to release any person detained for peacefully exercising his or her right to freedom of expression.

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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