Secret trial for Chinese language rights activist who mentioned Xi Jinping ‘not good sufficient’

2022-06-23 05:22:06

The transfer comes because the ruling Communist Celebration doubles down on stifling dissent forward of a key assembly this fall when Xi is anticipated to additional tighten his grip on energy with an nearly unprecedented third time period.

Xu Zhiyong, a veteran civil rights activist and authorized scholar, pleaded not responsible in entrance of a neighborhood court docket in Linshu county, japanese Shandong province, in a day-long listening to that was closed to the general public on the grounds that “it concerned state secrets and techniques.”

An individual with direct data of the case mentioned the court docket mentioned on the finish of the trial that sentencing could be introduced “at a later date.”

Supporters and rights teams referred to as the trial “grossly unfair” and the fees “trumped up.”

“Such a political case has nothing to do with the legislation or proof. The entire trial course of is dominated by political forces behind the court docket,” mentioned Teng Biao, a outstanding Chinese language human rights lawyer now based mostly in the US. “This can be a political trial and political persecution.”

Teng mentioned Xu was prone to obtain a heavy sentence, as a result of this is able to be the second time he had been jailed. In 2014, Xu was sentenced to 4 years in jail for “gathering crowds to disrupt public order.”

“For political prisoners, the second jail time period is often longer than the primary,” Teng mentioned.

A police officer walks past placards calling for the release of detained Chinese rights activists taped on the fence of the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong on February 19, 2020.

Open letter

Xu, 49, was detained in February 2020 within the southern metropolis of Guangzhou after spending almost two months in hiding. He was certainly one of a number of rights activists rounded up by authorities after a personal gathering within the southeastern metropolis of Xiamen in December 2019.

Whereas on the run, Xu issued an open letter addressed to Xi, calling on him to resign — a strikingly blunt enchantment that was swiftly censored on the Chinese language web. Publicly calling for a pacesetter to step down is a particularly dangerous act in China, the place political dissent is tightly suppressed and severely punished, particularly underneath Xi.
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In his letter, Xu launched a blistering assault on Xi’s insurance policies, from the tightening of the Communist Celebration’s controls on the economic system to its suppression of freedoms in Hong Kong and its dealing with of the preliminary Covid outbreak in Wuhan.

“I do not suppose you are an evil individual. You are simply not good sufficient,” he wrote. “Due to this fact, I urge you once more — which I imagine can be a extensively held sentiment: Mr. Xi Jinping, please step down.”

Teng, the US-based authorized activist, mentioned the open letter had doubtless contributed to Xu being charged with subversion — probably the most severe political offense, which carries a most penalty of life imprisonment.

“(Since) Xi got here to energy, he has strengthened his dictatorship and promoted a character cult round himself. It was extremely courageous for Xu to write down a letter calling for Xi’s resignation in China — however in fact, the authorities would by no means tolerate such articles,” Teng mentioned.

A central determine

Xu, a former college lecturer with a doctorate in legislation from the celebrated Peking College, first got here to prominence in 2003, when he took up the case of a college pupil who was crushed to dying in detention in Guangzhou. His campaigning with a number of different authorized students pushed the Chinese language authorities to abolish a infamous system through which rural migrants have been arbitrarily detained, fined and expelled by police in massive cities.

In 2010, he co-founded the New Residents Motion with like-minded activists, together with Teng, to advocate for civil rights and political reforms.

Since his launch from jail in 2017, Xu has continued to talk up on political and social issues, publishing pointed essays on his private weblog, at the same time as a rising record of his fellow activists, authorized students, human rights legal professionals and journalists have been ensnared by Xi’s clampdown on dissent.

“China just isn’t the land of peace, prosperity, self-congratulation, and fast development that you simply think about it to be in your goals,” he wrote in his open letter to Xi in 2020.

“I am deeply involved about our nation’s future; I’m afraid {that a} system that’s so tightly wound up is a dangerously brittle one; and, I am frightened that there is no such thing as a significant or substantive type of civil society that may take care of the scenario.”

Teng, who has identified Xu for 20 years, mentioned Xu was a “central determine” in China’s civil rights motion. “The motion and the broader civil society are within the throes of a chilly winter — a development that has proven no indicators of bettering. The Communist Celebration’s crackdown on human rights is ready to proceed for a few years to come back,” he mentioned.

Ding Jiaxi, a human rights lawyer and co-founder of the New Residents Motion, will stand trial on the similar court docket in Linshu county, Shandong province, on Friday on subversion costs, his spouse mentioned on Twitter.

“The Chinese language authorities have focused Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi not as a result of they dedicated any internationally acknowledged crime, however just because they maintain views the federal government doesn’t like. These unfair trials are an egregious assault on their human rights,” mentioned Amnesty Worldwide’s China Campaigner Gwen Lee.

“Having confronted torture and different ill-treatment throughout their arbitrary detention, Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi now face being sentenced to years behind bars in secretive trials which were rigged from the beginning.”


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Supply by [tellusdaily.com]