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China 12 February 2004

Cyber-dissident Du Daobin’s case sent back to police for lack of evidence

The Xiaogan prosecutor’s office told police on 10 February there was not enough evidence to charge Du Daobin with "inciting subversion". The case was sent back to the Bureau of Public Security (police). Cyber-dissident Liu Di, arrested in November 2002 and whom Du had supported, was freed last November after a prosecutor had come to the same conclusion.


Reporters Without Borders supports Chinese intellectuals’ petition for release of Du Daobin

Reporters Without Borders supports the petition launched to press for the release of Chinese cyberdissident Du Daobin by the Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo and denounced the illegitimate use of Article 105 of the Chinese criminal code.

Du, 40, was arrested more than three months ago in Yingcheng, Hubei province while he was on his way home from work. He is accused of posting articles about human rights on the Internet and of criticising draft reform of Article 23 of Hong Kong’s constitution that threatened freedom of expression.

He is expected to shortly be charged with "incitement to subversion of state power".

"We believe that it is completely abusive to charge people with subversion who have done no more than share their opinions with others on the Internet," said Robert Ménard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders.

The petition launched by Liu Xiaobo has already been signed by 102 Chinese academics and intellectuals.

Du has been imprisoned for more than three months at Xiao-Gan prison. He had to find himself a new lawyer because the authorities took his previous lawyer off the case. No member of Du’s family has yet been allowed to visit him, according to the latest information.

Du was arrested on 28 October 2003 when he was returning home. Police seized computer equipment, hand-written letters, an address book and foreign books. They "strongly advised" his wife, Xia Chun-rong, and his 12-year-old son not to have any contact with foreign journalists. The police also told his wife that Du had "gone too far".

Du posted a number of pacifist articles on the Internet advocating democracy and greater freedom of expression in China. He campaigned for the release of Liu Di, a young student imprisoned for posting messages calling for democracy in China on on-line forums. Liu was released on 28 November 2003 after more than a year of detention without trial.

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