China dissident Xu Zhiyong trial set for Wednesday
Beijing: Chinese dissident Xu Zhiyong will go on trial next Wednesday on charges of disrupting public order, his lawyer said on Friday.
Xu is a prominent legal activist who founded the New Citizens` Movement, a loose network of campaigners on a variety of social issues including corruption and equal access to education.
At least a half dozen other activists associated with Xu`s group have been charged and are also expected to be tried soon.
Xu`s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, said he and another lawyer met Friday with prosecutors, who rejected their protests over the charges. He said the trial would be held at Beijing`s Intermediary Court.
Zhang said no media or outside observers will be allowed to attend, effectively making the hearing a secret trial. He said only two seats have been set aside for Xu`s family.
Xu is a moderate but outspoken voice in China`s beleaguered rights movement that has come under increasing pressure as the central government cracks down on grassroots efforts to build a civil society that might challenge its rule.
The charge of disrupting public order appears to be linked to Xu`s call for people to hold monthly dinners to discuss China`s constitution and other issues. The vaguely defined charge can result in sentences of several years.
In 2009, Xu was detained and formally arrested on suspicion of evading taxes an allegation seen as a bid to stop him in his work in a legal aid organisation that represented politically sensitive cases.
He was released after spending about a month in jail, though hefty fines were levied on the group by the Beijing tax bureau.
He was detained again last July and in August delivered a bold message from inside a Beijing jail, urging citizens to unite in pursuing democratic freedoms.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I am surviving only on 25% of my liver today, says Big B
- Aamir Khan's 'intolerance' comment kicks up row
- Exclusive: Sudhir Chaudhary in conversation with Aamir Khan on intolerance in India!
- Panel discussion on Aamir Khan's remark on 'intolerance'
- Rahul Gandhi spotted with hate speech convict Imran Masood in Saharanpur
- Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh bypoll results: As it happened on November 24
- Intolerance issue: When did ‘Incredible India’ become ‘Intolerant India’, Anupam Kher asks Aamir Khan
- Tirupati, Tirumala rains update: Temple remains open; pilgrims continue to pour in for darshan
- BJP's big poser to Aamir Khan: Is there any better neighbour for Muslims than a Hindu?
- Muslim leader Asaduddin Owaisi says Aamir Khan wrong in wanting to leave India