China: Performance artist sentenced to four years in prison

29 June 2017

Artist Chen Yunfei was sentenced to 4 years in prison for “picking quarrels & provoking trouble” related to his art and criticism of the Chinese government.

The Wuhou District People’s Court in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, sentenced performance artist Chen Yunfei to four years in prison for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” related to his criticism of the Chinese government through art projects and social media, reported Human Rights Watch on 31 March 2017.

The performance artist was originally detained in March 2015 for staging a performance at the grave of a victim of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre who was killed by soldiers. The performance was aimed at keeping the memory alive of the massacre and the victims.

He was held in police custody for over a year until his hearing was set for July 2016, which was then postponed to December 2016 and again until March 2017.

One of the original charges against Chen – “inciting subversion of state power” – was dropped from the indictment in March 2016.

Sources told Radio Free Asia that while in custody, the artists spent several weeks in handcuffs and shackles.



» Ministry of Counterculture – 1 June 2017
Chinese artist Chen Yunfei shackled in prison 

» Human Rights Watch – 31 March 2017
China: 3 activists convicted on bogus charges

» China Change – 31 March 2017
Chun Yunfei’s closing statement before the court

» Radio Free Asia – 22 May 2017
China’s prisoners of conscience subjected to increasing violence by police

» Chinese Human Rights Defenders – 19 May 2017
Chen Yunfei

» Hong Kong Free Press – 17 January 2017
Tiananmen activist’s hands and feet shackled for extended periods in Chinese prison, lawyer says

» The New York Times – 26 June 2016
Chinese activist Chen Yunfei is to stand trial, lawyer says

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