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October 15, 2013

Six Years in Jail for Beijing Airport 'Bomber'

by VOA News

A Chinese court has sentenced a man to six years in jail for setting off an explosive device at Beijing's airport as a way to draw attention to his grievances against the government.

The Beijing Chaoyang District Court on Tuesday found Ji Zhongxing guilty of intentionally causing the July explosion, which the court described as a major threat to public safety.

The former motorcycle taxi driver was the only person injured by the homemade explosive device, which he set off in the the airport's terminal after warning passersby to move away.

The 34-year-old was seeking to raise awareness over a 2005 attack in the southern city of Dongguan, during which he says police severely beat him, leaving him wheelchair bound.

Ji's case has drawn sympathy from some Chinese Internet users who accuse Beijing of ignoring low-level, official abuse against the powerless and marginalized in Chinese society.

During the approximately month-long trial, Ji, who appeared in court on a stretcher, asked the judge to give him "another chance." His lawyer said Tuesday he is considering an appeal.