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Trial Delay in Yan Zhengxue's Subversion Case

February 12, 2007

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that the trial of rights defender
Yan Zhengxue on subversion charges has been delayed indefinitely. Yan
Zhengxue, a Zhejiang-based artist, was originally scheduled for trial on
February 14 on charges of "subverting state power." However, on February 12,
Yan's lawyer, Li Jianqiang, received telephone notification that the trial has
been delayed until an as yet unspecified date.

During a visit from his
lawyer, Li Jianqiang, at the Taizhou City Luqiao District Detention Center on
February 5, Yan reportedly said that the Public Security Bureau's role in his
case was highly questionable. Li Jianqiang said that if the judicial organs
deliver an unlawful verdict that leads to Yan harming himself in protest, Li
will feel obligated to disclose all he knows about the case, regardless of the
consequences to himself.

Yan Zhengxue, born in 1944, attended the
preparatory school of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in the 1960s, and in the
1990s participated in the Yuan Ming Yuan Artists Colony, referred to at the time
as the Soho of China. He was elected a deputy of the People's Congress of
Jiaojiang City, Zhejiang Province in 1993, and in 1994 was sentenced to Reform
Through Labor on questionable charges. Since his release in 1996, Yan has
exhibited his paintings in China and in many countries overseas, including some
works he painted while serving time in the labor camp. At the same time, Yan has
actively supported disadvantaged groups and individuals in defending their human
rights, for which he has been detained and beaten many times.

Yan was
detained and his Taizhou City home searched on October 18, 2006, and he was
formally arrested on November 15. Yan's detention notice accused him of
"participating in the crime of 'subversion of state power,'" and his wife, Zhu
Chunliu, was subsequently notified that Yan's case involved state
secrets.

HRIC expresses deep concern over the secrecy and lack of
procedural transparency in Yan Zhengxue's case, and the delay of his trial for
unspecified reasons. HRIC calls on the international community to closely
monitor this case to ensure that Yan's full rights are afforded before and
during his trial.

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