Asia-Pacific

China threatens dissident writer Yu Jie with prison

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao
Image caption Mr Yu was told criticism of the premier would endanger national security

The prominent Chinese dissident Yu Jie has been warned by police not to publish a book critical of Premier Wen Jiabao.

Yu Jie said he was detained and questioned at a police station for four hours on Monday.

The officers had threatened him with a prison sentence if he went ahead with his plans for publishing the book, Mr Yu said.

The writer added that he would go ahead and publish the book in Hong Kong.

"I'm also willing to bear all of the consequences," Mr Yu said.

He described how officers from the state security forces told him that criticism of Mr Wen would put national security at risk.

"They said I could be given a heavy sentence like Liu Xiaobo," Mr Yu said.

Liu, who is also a dissident writer, is serving an 11-year sentence for inciting to subvert state power.

Mr Yu helped found the Independent PEN Center in China. He is also a Christian advocate and has publicly defended religious freedom.

His books are banned in mainland China.

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