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VOA Interview Cited in Case Against Chinese Dissident

A Chinese defense lawyer says he has learned that an interview with Voice of America's Mandarin service is being cited in an indictment against his client, Yu Shiwen, a former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Zhang Xue Zhong Thursday said the court documents accuse Yu of causing public disorder by giving an interview to VOA about a private June 4 memorial he held with friends last year.

According to the indictment, the information became highly viewed content among Internet users who watched, commented on and shared it, causing serious public disorder.

Zhang said the accusation of disorderly behavior, as well as the evidence, are baseless.

"Posting information on the Internet, including videos and accepting interviews are also legal. Because he [Yu] made this information public, making it known to people, in other words clicking on relevant websites, constitutes a crime, I think this is simply something you can’t say has a legal basis. It completely violates human reason; it has no common sense," he said.

The indictment lists 28 foreign news services, including Voice of America, and bringing up the question of whether the disorder occurred in China or abroad.

Chinese authorities have not commented on the indictment.

Yu was among more than 10 human rights activists detained in Zhengzhou ahead of last year's anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. He is the only one still being detained.

Zhang said the court has rejected his appeal for Yu to be released from custody because of a deteriorating medical condition.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.