Alleged Subversion of State Power: Two Activists Sentenced to Jail in China

Alleged Subversion of State Power: Two Activists Sentenced to Jail in China

Two prominent lawyers have been convicted and sentenced to over ten years in prison in China over what was described as alleged "subversion of state power."

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Chinese human rights lawyer and civil activist Xu Zhiyong and his long-term partner Ding Jiaxi were handed 14 years and 12-year prison sentences, respectively.

Their conviction was pronounced three years after their detention, with their closed-door trial taking place in one day in June 2022, BBC reports.

Xu Zhiyong
A China court convicted human rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong and his partner. Credit: Greg Baker
Source: AFP

Activists detained separately since 2019

Xu, 50, and Ding, 55, were confined behind bars by the Chinese government after they were spotted at a private gathering with other activists in the southeastern city of Xiamen in December 2019.

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The activists were finally allowed to meet their lawyers roughly a year after first being detained. They both pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against them by the authorities.

CNN reports that the pair had been jailed previously for their roles in the New Citizens Movement, an initiative founded by Xu to advocate for civil rights, the rule of law and greater transparency into the wealth of officials.

A crackdown on human rights

Speaking after the sentence, Ding’s wife Luo Shengchun, described the jail of the activists as "cruelly farcical."

She has been campaigning for their release.

“They are human rights lawyers and all they did was practice China’s constitution and laws. How do you convince the outside world that China is a country ruled by law by handing them such heavy sentences?” Luo said.

China accused of promoting boarding school in Tibet

Meanwhile, previously reported that China ramped up its propaganda efforts to promote boarding schools in occupied Tibet.

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There have been reports circulating in the Chinese media about these schools with exaggerated and misleading claims.

The colonial boarding schools, which the Chinese government refers to as "education and training centres," have been a controversial topic since they were established in 2016. The Chinese government claims these schools are designed to "combat poverty and improve the education of Tibetan children". However, the truth is that they are a tool for political indoctrination and cultural assimilation.


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Rahaman Abiola (Editor-in-Chief) Rahaman Abiola is an award-winning journalist and Editor-in-Chief with over 8-year experience. He holds a degree in English & Literature from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria (2015). He's a recipient of the Mile Media Award, Kwame Karikari Fellowship. His works have appeared in Punch, The Nation, Tribune, The Cable, Sahara Reporters and others.

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