Date
26 September 2017
Supporters of the New Citizens Movement in a file photo. The group has campaigned for asset disclosures by top Chinese government officials. Photo: Bloomberg
Supporters of the New Citizens Movement in a file photo. The group has campaigned for asset disclosures by top Chinese government officials. Photo: Bloomberg

China jails activists for transparency calls

A court in China’s southeastern Jiangxi province has given three activists lengthy jail terms Thursday after they campaigned for asset disclosure by senior government officials.

Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua were given prison terms ranging from three to six-and-a-half years for “picking quarrels and creating a disturbance”, Financial Times quoted Liu’s lawyer Si Weijiang as saying.

Liu and Wei were also convicted of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement”. The ruling was made by a district court in the city of Xinyu.

The three activists were affiliated with the New Citizens Movement, whose members have argued that government officials must declare their personal assets as part of a broader anti-corruption campaign. They have also lobbied for open elections for China’s parliament.

In January the group’s most famous figure, legal rights activist Xu Zhiyong, was jailed for four years, the report noted.

“I can only sneer at this judgment, not cry,” Liu’s daughter Liao Minyue was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Merely for calling for asset disclosure, for demanding open elections and for pointing out the hypocrisy of our emperors’ new clothes, my mother has been subject to severe retribution.”

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