Internet essayist, writer and journalist, Huang Jinqiu, was arrested on 13 September 2003, shortly after his return from spending three years overseas studying journalism on a scholarship at the Central Academy of Art in Malaysia.
During his time abroad, Huang published a number of essays on the Chinese-language news website Boxun under the pen name Qing Shuiju (Mr Clear Water), and, over time, became increasingly famous for his work. In early 2001, whilst studying overseas, his articles began to attract the attention of the Chinese authorities, which reportedly visited his parents and warned them of their ‘concerns’ about him. In January 2003 he attracted further attention by announcing on Boxun his intention to found a political party, the China Patriot Democracy Party (CPDP). Although his announcement is said to have attracted a lot of interest, it is not thought that the CPDP was ever organised in practice.
He continued to write and post on Boxun after his return to China, complaining that during his travels through China he was followed by the secret police. According to his articles, they started following him on 15 August 2003, in Yunan Province, then in Sichuan and again in Shanghai. In early September, he visited his parents in Shandong Province, and on 10 September 2003, Huang published his final article entitled ‘Me and My Public Security Friends‘. He was arrested shortly thereafter, in Lianyungang, Kiangsu Province, but his parents were only informed of his detention in January 2004.
Huang’s trial began on 22 June 2004 at the Changzhou Intermediate People’s Court on charges of subversion. Apparently the court was initially unable to reach a verdict due to lack of evidence, but after the case was referred back to the prosecution, additional evidence was provided. On 27 September 2004, Huang was convicted of ‘organising, planning and performing subversion of State power by publishing a large number of reactionary articles on the Internet in his capacity as member of the preparatory committee of the China Patriotic Democratic Party’. He was sentenced to twelve years in prison and a four-year deprivation of political rights.
In November 2007, his sentence was reduced by one year and ten months, and he is now due for release on 12 November 2013. He is presently being held in Pukou Prison, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province.
Huang Jinqiu trained at the Lu Xun Literature Institute, a leading writing school. He published his first book at the age of 20, and worked as a journalist and editor of several newspapers and magazines after the age of 18, including the Guanzhou daily Yangcheng Wanbao. His essays have been collected into two publications, one that is non-political and published under his real name, and one collection of political commentaries published under his pen name for security reasons.
Huang Jinqiu is an Honorary Member of German PEN, American PEN, English PEN and Independent Chinese PEN.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/campaigns/chinacampaign/huangjinqiu/