Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Yan Zhengxue’s case delayed

Posted by radiofreechina on February 14, 2007

Trial Delay in Yan Zhengxue’s Subversion Case (HRIChina.org)

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that the trial of rights defender Yan Zhengxue on subversion charges has been delayed indefinitely. Yan Zhengxue, a Zhejiang-based artist, was originally scheduled for trial on February 14 on charges of “subverting state power.” However, on February 12, Yan’s lawyer, Li Jianqiang, received telephone notification that the trial has been delayed until an as yet unspecified date.

During a visit from his lawyer, Li Jianqiang, at the Taizhou City Luqiao District Detention Center on February 5, Yan reportedly said that the Public Security Bureau’s role in his case was highly questionable. Li Jianqiang said that if the judicial organs deliver an unlawful verdict that leads to Yan harming himself in protest, Li will feel obligated to disclose all he knows about the case, regardless of the consequences to himself.

Yan Zhengxue, born in 1944, attended the preparatory school of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in the 1960s, and in the 1990s participated in the Yuan Ming Yuan Artists Colony, referred to at the time as the Soho of China. He was elected a deputy of the People’s Congress of Jiaojiang City, Zhejiang Province in 1993, and in 1994 was sentenced to Reform Through Labor on questionable charges. Since his release in 1996, Yan has exhibited his paintings in China and in many countries overseas, including some works he painted while serving time in the labor camp. At the same time, Yan has actively supported disadvantaged groups and individuals in defending their human rights, for which he has been detained and beaten many times.

Yan was detained and his Taizhou City home searched on October 18, 2006, and he was formally arrested on October 25. Yan’s detention notice accused him of “participating in the crime of ‘subversion of state power,'” and his wife, Zhu Chunliu, was subsequently notified that Yan’s case involved state secrets.

HRIC expresses deep concern over the secrecy and lack of procedural transparency in Yan Zhengxue’s case, and the delay of his trial for unspecified reasons. HRIC calls on the international community to closely monitor this case to ensure that Yan’s full rights are afforded before and during his trial.

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