Chinese human rights activist sentenced to six years in jail

January 8th, 2009 - 3:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 8 (DPA) Wang Rongquing, a Chinese human rights activist, was sentenced to six years in prison by a court in Hangzhou in western China, fellow activists said Thursday.According to the China Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), Wang, 65, was found guilty by the Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court of “subversion of state power”.

The dissident had been accused of trying to build up the banned China Democracy Party, which is regarded as an “enemy organisation” by the state.

The activist, who according to his family is in ill health, was able to walk only with the aid of crutches. He was arrested in June before the Beijing Olympic Games.

CHRD said prosecutors claimed Wang had helped organise a China Democracy Party meeting and worked for an opposition newspaper.

After his arrest he followed the police advice not to go public and to accept a government-appointed lawyer in exchange for a lenient sentence.

Nonetheless, he was sentenced to an unusually long prison term.

CHRD demanded Wang’s immediate release, saying his arrest violated freedom of speech and assembly. The activist has been arrested repeatedly in recent years.

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