UK News > Chinese lawyers accused of subversion to stand trial in ‘naked persecution case’
Two Chinese lawyers and human rights activists will go to court on charges of subversion of the state in what is known as Beijingsuppression against dissent and activism.
Xu Zhiyong, 49, and Ding Jiaxi, 54, are expected to appear before the Linshu district court in the northeastern province of Shandong on Wednesday and Friday.
The trial will be held behind closed doors, where both have been legally represented but other guests, including relatives and diplomats, will not be allowed to attend.
Their attorneys were severely warned not to speak to the media, according to reports.
Mr. Xu and Mr. Ding are prominent figures in the New Citizens Movement and have previously served prison terms. Their movement, founded in 2012, demands greater transparency about the wealth of officials and favors citizens exercising their rights.
They stood in front of the Chinese government to attend and hold an informal meeting in the southeastern city of Xiamen at the end of 2019, where several activists expressed opinions on current issues. of the China.
On February 4, 2020, Mr. Xu wrote an open letter calling on the president of China Xi Jinping resigned, citing his handling of the country’s crises, including Hong Kong protests in 2019 and the spread of Covid. Days later, he was detained at the home of a fellow activist.
Mr. Ding went missing in December 2019 and Mr. Xu disappeared after being arrested in February. Both were officially arrested on June 19, 2020, Luo Shengchun, Ding’s wife, told Reuters.
“Our family is of course very upset and angry. This is a case of injustice and naked persecution,” Ms. Luo said.
According to Amnesty International, both men were subjected to torture, which included hours of interrogation and being tied to an iron ”tiger chair” with limbs contorted for more than 10 hours a day for several hours. day”, according to Amnesty International.
Human rights groups have called the allegations a “sham” and called on the Chinese government to release them unconditionally.
“The Chinese authorities have targeted Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi not because they have committed any internationally recognized crimes, but simply because they have views that the government does not like. These unfair trials are a serious attack on their human rights,” said Amnesty International China campaigner Gwen Lee.
Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the reason the two were charged with “ridiculous” subversive crimes was because they “dare to imagine another China and demand that the country be free and just.”
However, Beijing has rejected criticism of a range of human rights violations, calling jailed human rights lawyers and activists criminal.