Controls on Released Dissident

Chinese police restrict the movements and activities of a writer and democracy advocate and block help from his lawyer.

china-dudaobin-305.jpg Undated photo of Hubei-based cyber-dissident Du Daobin.

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hubei have cut off the phone service of a prominent cyber-dissident who was released last week after serving a three-year jail term for subversion, and have warned him to write no more articles.

Du Daobin, 44, one of China’s best-known cyber-dissidents, said on Tuesday he has been subjected to draconian restrictions and threats by national security police since his release from prison.

"Ever since I came out, they have repeatedly warned my wife not to let me answer the phone," Du said from his home in Hubei's Yingcheng city on Tuesday.

"They have informed my wife that the period from my release to Dec. 20 is a 'sensitive period,' which probably has to do with the award of the Nobel peace prize to Liu Xiaobo."

Du said the police had harassed him twice already while he was with friends, frightening them and embarrassing him.

"Before I was released from prison they came to visit me a few times for a chat," Du said. "They told me that firstly I wasn't to give any media interviews, and secondly, I wasn't to write any articles."

"They said if I wrote anything, I'd probably be detained immediately."

Du said he has to report to his local community correction center once a week, and perform community service twice a week.

He said he has also been warned not to try to leave town.

"I don't have a job anymore," Du said. "They said they would help me arrange another job as long as I don't write anything."

"How am I supposed to get by?"

Lawyer 'cut off'

Lawyer Jin Guanghong said he has been effectively cut off from acting as Du's legal representative.

"I had a meeting with the national security officer in charge of this case, Li Guosheng, who acted very fierce and said he had to see my license, and nitpicked at every stage," Jin said.

"They gave me an application form to take on a case which involves national secrets ... Later they said my request had been refused."

In June 2004, Du was sentenced in Hubei’s Xiaogan city to three years in prison and four years' probation on charges of inciting subversion.

While in prison, he was forbidden access to foreign books, according to his wife, Xia Chunrong.

Du was initially arrested in October 2003 after publishing online articles overseas denouncing the crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement and calling for political reforms.

He was released from court after receiving his sentence and confined to his home to serve his seven-year jail term.

But in July 2007, police returned Du to jail for publishing on foreign websites.

Reported by Fang Yuan for RFA's Mandarin service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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