Two Chinese activists involved in attempts to organize an independent political party pleaded not guilty in court yesterday to the charge of subverting state power, their wives and a lawyer said.
If convicted by the court in the eastern city of Hangzhou, Lu Gengsong and Chen Shuqing could face lengthy jail terms.
Lu’s wife, Wang Xue’e, and Chen’s wife, Zhang Donghong, said the men insisted on their innocence when standing trial in Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court. Calls to the court were unanswered.
The wives said the men, who were tried separately, argued that they were exercising their rights to speech and organization as granted by Chinese law.
Fu Yonggang, Chen’s attorney, said the defense also argued that it is impossible for an individual who holds no public power or exerts no substantial social influence to subvert state power. “We have found the charge to be ridiculous,” Fu said.
The court has yet to rule on the cases.
China has one-party rule under the Communist Party. All other political parties allowed to exist within China are sanctioned by the party, and serve as advisory bodies.
Source: Macau Daily Times