The mother of a jailed Chinese activist has said the mainland authorities broke their promise of a lenient sentence for her son in exchange for her cooperation.

Liu Feiyue, who created and ran the Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch website, was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday for inciting state “subversion.”

His mother Ding Qihua, 76, said after the sentencing that she was shocked and angered by the Suizhou Intermediate People’s Court in central Hubei province.

Liu Feiyue. Photo: CHRD.

“I have been following the arrangements of the city government – I have never spoken up,” she said in a statement posted by fellow activist Ou Baiofeng on Facebook.

“Feiyue’s father and I have been to the detention centre several times to urge Feiyue to plead guilty. We followed instructions by the authorities, and the authorities promised Feiyue would be given a suspended sentence.”

“In the end, the authorities broke their promise and poured cold water on me. I am very heartbroken – my mind cannot be eased,” she added.

“I only understand now, when I am over 70 years old, the way that officials exercise the power the country gave them.”

Ding said she did not believe her son was guilty.

“We are proud of Feiyue. His public remarks were made under the freedom of speech protected in the constitution. The authorities ruled my son was guilty – it proves that the authorities are harming China’s rule of law, harming freedom of speech protected under the constitution,” she said.

She said she will fully support an appeal by her son: “I will not be silent again, and I will not believe in the authorities’ hypocritical show of friendship anymore.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.