China's First 'cyber-dissident' Faces Trial
Sumaira FH 6 days ago Mon 14th January 2019 | 04:08 PM
China's first "cyber-dissident", whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, is expected to go on trial on Monday amid fears he is in bad health, sources familiar with the matter told AFP
Beijing, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 14th Jan, 2019 ) :China's first "cyber-dissident", whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, is expected to go on trial on Monday amid fears he is in bad health, sources familiar with the matter told AFP.
"American diplomats attempted to attend Huang Qi's trial but were denied access to the courtroom," a US embassy spokesperson told AFP.
Huang ran a website called "64 Tianwang" -- named after the bloody June 4, 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters.
A volunteer at "64 Tianwang" told AFP that he was taken away "on holiday" Saturday by Sichuan police, who cited the cyber-dissident's trial that was due to start this week.
"I am worried (for his safety)," the volunteer said on condition of anonymity. "But Huangqi is very proud, he won't surrender.
" The volunteer was told he would be released once the trial was over.
Mianyang police did not answer AFP's calls for a comment.
Fourteen non-profit organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, released a statement last November saying Huang was in danger of dying in police custody if he does not receive medical treatment for a host of severe health conditions.
Huang's work has repeatedly drawn the ire of Chinese authorities.
In 2009, he was sentenced to three years in prison after campaigning for parents of children killed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which left nearly 87,000 people dead or missing and authorities facing huge public anger over shoddy building construction.