News / Asia

China Convicts Two More Anti-Corruption Activists

VOA News
China's ruling Communist Party is continuing its crackdown on government critics by convicting two more anti-corruption activists.

A Beijing court on Wednesday found Hou Xin and Yuan Dong guilty of "gathering a crowd to disturb public order."

Hou and Yuan are members of the grassroots New Citizens movement, which calls for officials to disclose their assets and for education equality.

Chang Boyang, a lawyer for Yuan, tells VOA's Mandarin service that an appeal is certain.

"Before the court tried the case, we met in the detention center, we discussed it, if he is given a guilty verdict, he will appeal. At present, he is sentenced to a year and a half [in prison], so we will definitely appeal," said Boyang.

Hou was able to avoid prison time because the court said her crime was "less serious."

Hou's lawyer, Ding Xikui, says his client's health problems played a role in her sentence.

“In April the four were detained, she was inside for 10 days before she was bailed out. At the time, she was critically ill. We went to the hospital to handle the bail procedures. So, the judiciary wouldn’t dare detain her again," said Xikui.

The convictions come days after New Citizen founder Xu Zhiyong received four years in jail, in a ruling that provoked international condemnation.

But activist Hu Jia tells VOA the movement is not dead.

"There is no need to be so pessimistic. For the New Citizens’ Movement itself, it has never been completely eliminated. Even in a place like Beijing, despite entering the cold winter, but, you know in winter those seeds still maintain strength in the soil," said Jia.

Daniel Delk with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Washington is "deeply disappointed" in the convictions.

"We're deeply disappointed that Yuan Dong, a good governance advocate, has been convicted and sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison. We are concerned that today's conviction, like that of legal scholar and rights advocate Xu Zhiyong just earlier this week, is retribution for his public campaign to expose official corruption and for the peaceful expression of his views," said Delk.

The State Department says it is concerned that the prosecutions in China's Communist Party-controlled courts are retribution for the activists' public campaign to expose corruption.

Although the group does support democracy and the rule of law, some of its ideals are at least similar to that of the stated goals of the Communist Party, which also has vowed to crack down on corruption.

Since coming to power last year, the party's chairman, President Xi Jinping, has launched an anti-graft campaign that has brought down several lower and mid-level officials accused of corruption.

But Beijing has reacted angrily to the notion of a citizen-led anti-corruption campaign, arresting at least 20 people who made public calls for officials to publicly disclose their assets.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid