Chinese human rights activist faces trial
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Wang Lihong, 56, faces charges of "creating a disturbance" after demonstrating in support of threeaccused of slandering Chinese government officials in April 2010. She was arrested in March this year. Wang pleaded not guilty, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail if convicted.
A large group of police watched over supporters and other activists who had gathered outside the court.
The case is the latest in what many believe is a crackdown by the Chinese government on dissenters. The use of online blogging by dissenters, supporters say, concerns the authorities as it allows information to be spread quickly and may lead to public unrest.
Foreign and Chinese journalists were not allowed to enter the courtroom to hear the case.
One of Wang's lawyers, Han Yicun, said it was an unfair trial. "I was interrupted many times, the judge did not allow me to talk, no matter how I tried to explain," he said. He said that the judge’s interruption obstructed the defence.
A source ofwho was in the courtroom said, “at the beginning, she [Wang] said this is the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution [that Overthrew the ], as a citizen, we have responsibility to concern about the society.” However, the judge told Wang to only talk about her individual case, the source said.
A verdict is expected in the coming weeks, but Han was not confident of an acquittal.
Wang has previously been vocal in support of, winner of the 2010 , after he was jailed for 11 years for writing the Charter 08 pro-democracy petition.
- AP. "China tries activist amid crackdown" — , August 13, 2011
- Clifford Coonnan. "Trial of human rights defender begins in Beijing" — , August 13, 2011
- AFP. "Human rights activist begins Beijing trial" — , August 13, 2011
- Peter Foster. "Chinese internet-activist on trial" — , August 12, 2011
- Michael Bristow. "Activist Wang Lihong faces China trial" — , August 12, 2011
- Tania Branigan. "Chinese internet activist Wang Lihong goes on trial" — , August 12, 2011
- AP. "Chinese Activist on Trial Amid Crackdowns" — , August 11, 2011