News / Asia

Verdict for Chinese Dissident Expected Sunday

FILE - This July 17, 2009 file photo shows legal scholar Xu Zhiyong at a meeting in Beijing, China.
FILE - This July 17, 2009 file photo shows legal scholar Xu Zhiyong at a meeting in Beijing, China.
VOA News
The lawyer for Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong, who went on trial on Wednesday, said the verdict will be announced Sunday morning, just days after the one-day trial.

Xu's lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, said he'd been notified in writing by authorities as early as Wednesday, when Xu's trial kicked off, that he would be sentenced on Sunday.
 
“This means that even before the trial, the court had already communicated this and that they had already discussed what the verdict would be and the timing of the sentencing,” Zhang told Reuters by telephone.
 
Zhang said he believed the swift sentencing suggested authorities wanted politically sensitive cases like Xu's to be closed ahead of the March meeting of China's rubber stamp parliament, the National People's Congress.
 
Xu was charged with "gathering crowds to disrupt public order." He stayed silent and did not defend himself at his trial and, if found guilty, could face five years in prison.

Xu, a 40-year-old legal scholar, founded the grassroots New Citizens Movement, which supports democracy and the rule of law and supports a crackdown on corrupt officials.
 
A total of seven New Citizens Movement members are standing trial this week and next. Three others were tried in December, though verdicts have not yet been delivered.

The campaign against the movement exposes the ambivalence in Beijing's bid to root out corruption, even as the authorities claim greater transparency.
 
Xu's trial is China's highest-profile dissident proceeding since 2009, when Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo was put on trial for subversion after he helped organize the “Charter 08” petition, which urged the overthrow of one-party rule. Liu was jailed for 11 years.
 
The Chinese government has intensified a clampdown against the human rights community nationwide over the past year.
 
In Guangzhou on Friday, supporters of activist Liu Yuandong were barred from attending his trial as dozens of uniformed police guarded and blocked access to the area.
 
Rights lawyers including Liu Shihui and Chen Jinxue were manhandled by police according to Twitter posts by supporters, including Cao Yaxue who said Chen had “been wrestled to the ground by several state security officers and beaten.”
 
Liu is accused of gathering a crowd to disrupt public order during a series of street protests last January outside the gates of the Southern Weekly. That protest was against excessive censorship at the influential Chinese newspaper.
 
Several other prominent activists are due to go on trial soon, including Guo Feixiong, who was also detained last year in Guangzhou in connection to the Southern Weekly protests.
 
On Thursday, Zhao Changqing, a veteran dissident, and Hou Xin, a campaigner, also went on trial in Beijing.
 
The U.S. State Department has criticized the crackdown, prompting an angry reaction from Beijing. On Tuesday, China's Foreign Ministry said foreign countries should not interfere with its internal issues.
 
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid