China sentences rights activist:
China sentenced a veteran pro-democracy campaigner to 13 years in prison on vaguely defined subversion charges, one day after releasing the widow of a Nobel Peace Prize laureate after eight years of house arrest.
The People’s Intermediate Court in the central city of Wuhan announced the sentencing of Qin Yongmin, whose activism dates back four decades, on its official website Wednesday. No further details were given and it was not immediately clear who was representing Qin in court.
On Tuesday, authorities allowed Liu Xia, wife of the late Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, to depart for Germany in response to what the Chinese Foreign Ministry called her own request to receive medical treatment. Liu had been held under house arrest since late 2010.
Coming during a visit by China’s Premier Li Keqiang to Germany, Liu’s release heartened foreign governments and human rights campaigners, who pointed out that she had never been charged with or convicted of any crime.
Qin’s sentencing, however, underscores China’s hard line against anyone challenging the ruling Communist Party, which under leader Xi Jinping has launched the most sweeping crackdown on civil rights in years. (AP)