Outspoken critic of party faces subversion charges over Diaoyu comments
A former journalism professor known for his fierce criticism of the Communist Party was taken away by police last week on subversion charges after posting inflammatory comments online, rights groups said yesterday.
Jiao Guobiao, who was fired by prestigious Peking University in 2005 after he denounced the party’s curbing of freedom of speech, was taken away by Beijing police last Wednesday on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders group said on its blog. It said Jiao was detained over his comments on the Diaoyu Islands dispute between China and Japan. It said he was held at the Haidian police detention centre in the capital city.
The Independent Chinese PEN Centre, a writers’ group of which Jiao is a member, confirmed his detention in a statement and said Beijing police had previously put him under house arrest from September 6 to prevent him from travelling to South Korea to attend a PEN conference.
Beijing police and the Haidian detention centre did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
A day before Jiao was taken away, he posted an article on the Internet complaining about being followed by a group of unidentified men.
A friend of Jiao who spoke to his wife said Jiao was detained over open letters he posted online on September 8 to Shintaro Ishihara, the Tokyo governor who announced plans to buy the Diaoyu Islands from their private owner, and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. The letters were apparently written in anger soon after the authorities banned him from travelling to South Korea.
In his letter to Ishihara, Jiao sarcastically suggested that he would donate money to help Japan buy the Diaoyus, and that he would donate money should Japan ever want to buy the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing, “then it could be turned into a pig sty to keep Chinese pigs … the Communist Party arbitrarily violates its citizens’ freedoms and rights … whoever could wipe out China would be my hero."
His open letter to Ma said the sovereignty of the Diaoyus should not go to Beijing. “If Beijing also possesses the Diaoyus, they will become another pig sty where it can arbitrarily carry out abuses,” he wrote.
The PEN centre also said writer Ye Du was interrogated by police in Guangzhou yesterday morning, after having just returned from South Korea. It said he was released in the afternoon and was being confined to his home by police.