Chinese poet Wang Zang faces prison after being caught with an umbrella

Activist was targeted over support of the Hong Kong protests

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The Independent Online

Outspoken poet Wang Zang is facing up to three years in prison after police raided his house and found him in possession of an umbrella.

Mr Wang posted a picture of himself holding the umbrella and giving a middle finger on Twitter last Tuesday, apparently in support of the Hong Kong protests, and the next morning awoke to find a dozen agents at his front door demanding to come in.

Police confiscated the light blue brolly, along with Mr Wang's computer, wireless router and, for reasons unknown, his spectacles.

He is one of at least 25 activists targeted by police for backing the universal suffrage protests going on Hong Kong.

The humble umbrella has become the symbol of the protests, known as the Umbrella Revolution, because protestors have been using them to shield themselves from tear gas.

Mr Wang's wife Wang Li fears that it was his Twitter picture that precipitated the raid at their Beijing home.

"They showed me a blank search warrant and rummaged through everything, searching every corner of the house," she told The Telegraph.

"Judging by the items police took from our home, I figure Wang's arrest is related to the pictures he posted on Twitter supporting the Umbrella Movement.

"Ever since his university days, my husband has been campaigning and defending the rights of the poor. I am right behind him. I believe what he has been doing is right and just. None of the things my husband has done over the years constitutes crime. What he has been doing is the good thing, the right thing, not a crime.

"I will always stand beside my husband. I am proud of him and what he does."

Mr Wang's lawyer said his arrest was "definitely" in relation to his support of the Umbrella Revolution, and he could face up to three years in jail if found guilty of "provoking troubles".