News / Asia

China Jails Three Anti-Corruption Activists

FILE - Liu Ping of the New Citizens’ Movement.
FILE - Liu Ping of the New Citizens’ Movement.
A Chinese court has given jail terms of up to six and a half years to three activists who were part of a group urging government officials to disclose their assets.
 
The sentences handed down by a court in the central province of Jiangxi were the harshest yet in Beijing's year-long crackdown on the New Citizens Movement.
 
Liu Ping and Wei Zhongping were given six and a half years in jail after being found guilty of "picking fights," "disrupting public order" and "using an evil cult to undermine law enforcement." Li Sihua was given three years in jail for "disrupting public order."
 
That information came from Si Weijiang, a lawyer for Liu Ping, who called the verdicts "not fair."
 
"The laws can just be bent however [the authorities] want to. There is no law in politicized cases,” said Si.
 
William Nee, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Amnesty International, told VOA the charges against the activists are "preposterous."
 
"It's very worrying. We don't think they should have even been tried to begin with and that they're prisoners of conscience, so to get six and a half years or three years [in jail] is really just an outrageous affair," said Nee.
 
China has arrested about a dozen members of the New Citizens Movement, a loosely organized group that holds occasional dinner meetings and debates focused on corruption and civil rights.
 
Nee said Beijing views the group as a threat because it focuses on issues that have widespread public support. He also said any attempt to portray the group as an "evil cult" is disingenuous.
 
"It certainly shouldn't be used against the New Citizens Movement, which is simply asking for China to obey its own constitution, to promote social justice in terms of rural children and access to education in cities or to have Chinese officials declare their assets as most other officials in other countries do," said Nee.
 
In April, the group's founder, attorney and university lecturer Xu Zhiyong, was sentenced to four years in jail. Several others have been given jail terms in the past year.
 
The crackdown comes even as Xi Jinping, the head of China's Communist Party, carries out a campaign to end widespread official corruption.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
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.

AppleAndroid