Chinese dissident sentenced to 10 years for posting article online

A Chinese dissident was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for posting an essay on the Internet saying that people have the right to violently overthrow tyranny, a human rights group said.

Ren Zhiyuan pleaded not guilty to charges of "subversion of state power," a vague term that Communist authorities use when prosecuting activists they say are critical of the government or potentially dangerous.

Ren was tried last September in the eastern province of Shandong. The Jining Municipal Intermediate People's Court on Friday confirmed the sentence.

Such long sentences are rarely imposed, but dissidents have been jailed for more than a dozen years. Ren has the option of appealing.

Ren, a secondary school teacher, was detained in May 2005 while on a trip to Jiangsu province because of an article he posted on the Internet called "The Road to Democracy," the New York-based Human Rights in China said.

"He expressed the opinion that the people have the right to overthrow tyranny by violent means," the group said, reports the AP.


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