Tan Zuoren, who had been investigating the deaths of students in last year’s Sichuan earthquake, stood trial yesterday for subversion.
Tan, a 55-year-old local resident, was accused of telling lies to foreign media organizations after the quake and so “greatly staining the image of the government and the Party,” according to the indictment offered by Tan’s lawyer Pu Zhiqiang.
Tan was also believed to have written essays about the June 4 incident in 1989 and to have contacts with overseas activists, the court paper says.
Reporters were not allowed into the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court, where the trial took place from around 10 am to 12:20 pm. Tan’s wife and one of his daughters were allowed into the courtroom, although his brother and other daughter were not, Pu said.
Tan denied all charges during the trial, Pu said.
No verdict was given yesterday. According to the Criminal Law, the heaviest punishment for subversion is life in jail.
This unusual report has already generated many comments among Chinese twitters.
Tweet from Pu Zhiqiang (human rights lawyer, defense lawyer of Tan Zuoren): Thank you, China Daily!
Tweet from Anti (pro-democracy blogger): Strongly urging China Daily publishing it’s Chinese version in China!