A Chinese court has upheld a four-year prison sentence for Xu Zhiyong, a prominent legal scholar in China. The United States is deeply disappointed by the court's decision.
A Chinese court has upheld a four-year prison sentence for Xu Zhiyong, a prominent legal scholar in China. The United States is deeply disappointed by the court's decision. Mr. Xu was convicted in January as retribution for his public campaign to expose official corruption and for the peaceful expression of his views.
Mr. Xu denounced the verdict, according to one of his attorneys. "This absurd ruling,” said Mr. Xu, “cannot stop the trend of humanity moving forward."
Mr. Xu is part of the New Citizens Movement, which calls for greater transparency regarding officials' wealth as a way to combat corruption and equal access to education for students from rural areas.
This month, other members of the New Citizens Movement were also prosecuted by Chinese officials. Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei, were tried on charges of "gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
The verdict of their two-day trial has yet to be announced. Two of their lawyers withdrew from the case in protest over what they said were irregularities in the trial.
Two other activists associated with the New Citizens Movement, Zhang Baocheng and Zhao Changqing, have also faced trial.
The United States remains deeply concerned that the prosecution of Mr. Xu and his fellow activists is part of a deepening pattern of arrests and detentions of public interest lawyers, Internet activists, labor activists, journalists, religious leaders and others who peacefully challenge official Chinese policies and actions.
The United States calls on Chinese authorities to release Mr. Xu and other political prisoners immediately, remove restrictions on their freedom of movement, and guarantee them the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China's international human rights commitments.