Yang Tongyan is a Chinese poet, writer, and theorist who was sentenced on May 16, 2006 to twelve years imprisonment on charges of “subversion of state power” for publishing poems and other works critical of China’s Communist Party.
Yang had previously spent a decade in prison from 1990 to 2000 for organizing a pro-democracy movement. In 2005 the writer was arrested secretly without a warrant and later charged in a secret trial. Since his current sentencing Yang Tongyan has continued his writing in prison, with numerous award-winning works having been written in his cell, smuggled out, and published. Yang Tongan has suffered from a variety of medical ailments while in prison and was denied medical parole following an appeal in 2010.
Yang Tongyan is currently being held in Nanjing Prison, Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province and is scheduled to remain there until May 2018.