China police arrest online essayist for subversion

Police in China have arrested 40-year-old civil servant Du Daobin with charges of subversion, after he criticized the government by way of a series of 28 online essays.

Du, who has been detained since October, also accepted money from overseas organisations and individuals in return for helping them post articles harmful to state security on domestic Web sites, official news agency Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying. Du had overstepped his legal right to criticise government work and civil servants with good intent, and viciously incited subversion of state power through fabrication, Xinhua said.

(...)Du's case has drawn protests from scores of Chinese academics and reporters who have urged his release. Activists have written to Premier Wen Jiabao saying Du's detention was groundless. Internet surfers have flocked to Du's defence, even posting an online petition at www.mzyzy.com saying he had not called for the overthrow of the Chinese government.

Link to Reuters story, A quick Google of "Du Daobin" reveals dozens of "Free Du" petitions.