BEIJING – A Chinese artist who led a daring march toward Tiananmen Square has been brought to court over a scuffle with police, and supporters say the trial is revenge for his outspoken work.
Wu Yuren has helped lead other Beijing artists to protest sometimes violent harassment from developers who want to tear down their studios in the national hunger for real estate profits. He led a brief march toward Tiananmen Square in February after he and fellow artists said masked thugs had attacked their studios in a pre-dawn raid.
In May, Wu was charged with "obstructing public affairs with violence" after a confrontation with police. Wu says he was beaten, but is accused of hurting two of a police officer's fingers.
"I think any sort of sentencing for this is a travesty," Karen Patterson, Wu's Canadian wife, said this week.
The trial began Wednesday but was adjourned after Wu's lawyer protested that police video entered as evidence had been edited. No date has been set for its resumption.
Police have not made any public comment on the case and would not answer questions Wednesday.
Wu had been better known as an artist than as an activist, but he did sign Charter 08, the public demand for democratic reforms written by Liu Xiaobo, the now-imprisoned government critic and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Internationally known artist Ai Weiwei, who stood outside the courthouse, said he was offering support for Wu.
"We come here for support," he said. "We want to be part of it."