Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Activist Faces Charges Over Web Posts

Filed under
Web

A Chinese political activist goes on trial next week on subversion charges after posting essays and lyrics to a punk song on the Internet, a human rights group said Thursday.

Zhang Lin was detained Jan. 29 in his hometown of Bengbu, in the eastern province of Anhui, after returning from Beijing, where he unsuccessfully tried to attend a memorial service for ousted Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang.

Zhang goes on trial next week for posting almost 200 essays on the Internet, including one that quotes lyrics from a punk song that authorities say incite subversion of state power, Human Rights in China said in a statement.

Zhang has gone on hunger strikes twice to protest his detention and physical abuse while in captivity, the group said.

China's communist government frequently files subversion charges against political activists. A conviction can carry a penalty of up to life in prison.

Zhao, who died Jan. 17 at age 85, was forced from power in 1989 after sympathizing with pro-democracy protesters who occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Authorities detained dissidents trying attending his memorial service to prevent expressions of discontent.

HRIC said no mention was made in Zhang's indictment about his attempt to pay his respects to Zhao.

Instead, the document issued May 23 by prosecutors in Bengbu said Zhang "used the Internet ... to openly disseminate language that misrepresents and denigrates the national authorities and the socialist system, and which incites subversion of state power and the overthrow of the socialist system."

Zhang, who has been imprisoned several times for pro-democracy activities, posted 195 articles between August 2003 and January this year, the group said.

According to the indictment, his work "damaged national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, spread falsehoods, disturbed social order and damaged social stability," HRIC said.
One of his essays quotes lyrics from a song by the Chinese punk group Pangu: "The Yellow River should run dry, this society should collapse, this system should be destroyed, this race should become extinct, this country should perish."

Liu Qing, HRIC's president, said authorities should withdraw their case against Zhang.

"The use of the words of a punk rock song to charge Zhang Lin with subversion shows the lengths to which the Chinese authorities feel compelled to go in persecuting and suppressing those who exercise freedom of expression," Liu said in a statement.

"Zhang Lin has been subjected to constant persecution over the past 16 years, even though his chief aspiration has always been the welfare of China and the Chinese people."

Zhang was introduced to dissident writings while a student at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University in the 1970s. During the 1989 movement, Zhang led student hunger strikes in Bengbu and was later sentenced to two years in prison on charges of "counterrevolutionary incitement."

He was sentenced to three years in a labor camp after cofounding an independent labor rights group, HRIC said.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export

The developers of the Avidemux open-source and cross-platform video editor software have announced a new maintenance update in the 2.6 series, bringing multiple improvements, bug fixes, and a handful of new features. Read more

5 Best Linux Distros for Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy. Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users. Read more

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • How IoTivity and AllJoyn Could Combine
    At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both. Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
  • ​Linus Torvalds' love-hate relationship with the GPL
    Linux's founder appreciates what the GNU General Public License has given Linux, but he doesn't appreciate how some open-source lawyers are trying to enforce it in court.
  • Linus Torvalds reflects on 25 years of Linux
    LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
  • 6 things you should know from Linux's first 25 years
    Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
  • There Is Talk Of Resuming OpenChrome VIA KMS/DRM Driver Development
    Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.

Security News

  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]
    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?
    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on? There are three primary groups of people. 1) People who know they know nothing 2) People who think they're experts 3) People who are actually experts
  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary
    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.