The Chinese government has arrested another prominent Internet dissident. Police entered Du Daobin's house on July 22nd and announced that his previous sentence, a prison term after probation, had been changed to an immediate prison sentence. Police stated that Mr. Du had violated probation rules by publishing over one-hundred articles on websites based outside China, among other alleged offenses. Police took two computers, transcripts, and letters from Mr. Du's home.
Du Daobin is the third leading cyber-dissident in recent days to be arrested, after Hu Jia and Huang Qi.
Leading human rights activist Hu Jia just spent his thirty-fifth birthday in a prison cell. He is believed to suffer from cirrhosis caused by an attack of hepatitis, but according to Reporters Without Borders, Mr. Hu has not had a single medical examination since his arrest. Mr. Hu was sentenced in April 2008 to three-and-a-half years in prison on a charge of “inciting subversion of state authority,” for posting articles about government issues on websites based abroad.
Huang Qi is the founder of Tianwang Web and was formally arrested in July. Mr. Huang is a well-known human rights activist and cyber dissident. After the earthquake in Sichuan, Mr. Huang participated in disaster relief work, trying to help parents of students killed during the earthquake. He was detained on June 10th by police for allegedly possessing state secrets.
The United States is committed to defending human rights across the globe, including in China. "America," said President George Bush, "always stands with those seeking freedom – and never hesitates to shine the light of conscience on abuses of human rights." In that spirit the U.S. calls on the Chinese government to release all detained human rights activists, including Du Daobin, Hu Jia, and Hang Qi.