China sentences four more human rights defenders for demonstrating

April 24, 2014

The same day it was announced that Cao Shunli had been selected as one of the Final Nominees for the MEA 2014, Front Line reports the sentencing of 4 other human rights defenders in China. On 18 April 2014, human rights defenders Messrs Ding Jiaxi and Zhao Changqing were sentenced to 3.5 years and 2.5 years’ imprisonment respectively, while Messrs Li Wei and Zhang Baocheng were both given prison sentences of 2 years. The four human rights defenders were convicted of “illegal assembly” over their role in small-scale demonstrations associated with the New Citizens Movement.[The four human rights defenders were convicted of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” They were arrested and charged in Beijing in late March and early April of 2013. The trials against the human rights defenders began on 8 April 2014, and the attorneys of Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei left the proceedings on 9 April 2014 in protest. Ding Jiaxi’s lawyer was not permitted to enter the court on the day of the sentencing. Reportedly, a number of foreign diplomats were denied entry to the hearings.Front Line Defenders raised concerns regarding the judicial harassment faced by anti-corruption activists in China on 10 June 2013 <> .]

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