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Held on trumped-up charges, Nanjing-based journalist finally gets to see lawyer

(RSF/IFEX) - Journalist Sun Lin denied charges of "illegal possession of firearms" and "disturbing the peace" when he finally received a visit from lawyer Mo Shaoping, on 14 December 2007, in prison, in the eastern city of Nanjing. Mo was refused a visit in September. The police have sent the findings of their investigation to prosecutors along with a request that Sun be brought to trial.

Also known by the pen-name Jie Mu, he told Mo that, during questioning, the police asked him about his journalistic activities and told him he had been arrested for refusing to stop writing articles for Boxun ( ), a Chinese-language news website based abroad.

Sun said the firearms charge was based on false statements by persons who claim he gave them air pistols of the kind used for sport. He said he does not know any of these persons. He added that the charge of disturbing the peace was based on an incident in 2004 when he was helping evicted people and did nothing illegal.

Sun's wife, He Fang, has meanwhile been detained on a charge of "illegal possession of explosives."

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of both Sun and He on the grounds that the charges against them have clearly been trumped up.

Arrested in Nanjing on 30 May, Sun was the founder of the now-banned newspaper "Da Du Shi" as well as being a Boxun correspondent. He told Reporters Without Borders before his arrest that he had written articles about abuse of authority but had never done anything illegal.

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