A Chinese activist has been charged with “inciting subversion of state power,” an offence punishable by life imprisonment, for retweeting a video of “ink girl” Dong Yaoqiong, according to his wife.

Ou Biaofeng had been placed in administrative detention for 15 days in early December for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” after he retweeted a video of Dong, who earned her nickname by defacing a poster of leader Xi Jinping in 2018.

Ou Biaofeng. File photo: Ou Biaofeng, via Twitter.

Dong had live-streamed the video of herself splashing ink on the poster while accusing the Communist Party of “thought control.” She was sent to a psychiatric facility.

In a video released in early December, which Ou retweeted, Dong said she was on “the brink of breaking down” due to intensive surveillance after being released from the facility.

On December 18, the day before Ou’s scheduled release, his wife Wei Huanhuan was told by police that he had been placed in residential surveillance at an undisclosed location, according to her Twitter account. Their home was then searched by police.

Wei said on Twitter last Friday she had received a letter from police in Zhuzhou city in Hunan province notifying her that Ou had been charged with “inciting subversion of state power.”

“Ou is only a powerless person, how could be subvert a country? Yet, just as the notice letter said, Ou’s track record of actions have earned him this ‘certificate’,” said Wei on Twitter.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.