China sen­tences rights ac­tivist:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

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)

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