China sentences prominent rights lawyer to 2 years in prison
BEIJING: A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison on the vague charge of inciting subversion of state power, the latest verdict passed down in a sweeping crackdown on activism that has drawn widespread international criticism.
The Intermediate People's Court in the central city of Changsha handed down the verdict against activist Jiang Tianyong at a brief hearing, according to an announcement on the court's official account on the Sina Weibo microblogging platform.
The court posted a video of Jiang in a black down jacket sitting in the courtroom listening expressionless as a judge read out the verdict. The court said Jiang would not appeal the sentence, though it was unclear from the court video if Jiang had said so. Jiang's court-appointed lawyer did not answer repeated phone calls.
"This entire legal process is arranged by the government. So I don't accept Jiang pleading guilty and the guilty verdict," Jiang's wife, Jin Bianling, said by phone from Los Angeles, where she now lives. Prosecutors accused Jiang of using social media platforms to denigrate the government and judicial authorities and said he incited others to subvert state power, including fabricating claims that another lawyer had allegedly been tortured in custody.