China activist jailed for more than 7 years

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TIANJIN, China: A Chinese human rights activist was convicted of subverting state power and jailed for seven and a half years on Wednesday, 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. Hu pleaded guilty at the Second Intermediate People’s Court in the northern city of 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 — identifiable by small gold star pins — stationed every few meters around the court.

AFP

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