Activist jailed 7 years in ‘709’ crackdown
A CHINESE human rights activist was convicted of subverting state power and jailed for seven-and-ahalf years yesterday, official media reported, the latest step in a sweeping crackdown on dissent.
Activist Hu Shigen was the second person to be put on trial as a result of last year’s so-called “709 crackdown” – named after July 9, when more than 200 people were detained, including lawyers who took on civil rights cases considered sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party.
Mr Hu pleaded guilty at the Second Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin and said he would not appeal, the official Xinhua news agency reported, which described him as the leader of an underground church.
The trial took place under tight security, with scores of police and plainclothes personnel stationed every few metres around the court.
Traffic was blocked off on the court side of the street about 300 metres to either side of the entrance.
Police and plainclothes men swarmed the grounds of a nearby temple and a woman claiming to be a tour guide heckled journalists.
About a dozen lawyers and activists from the “709 crackdown” still remain under arrest on state subversion charges.
Activist Zhai Yanmin was found guilty of the same crime by the court on Aug 2, for acts including waving banners and shouting slogans. –