Date
25 January 2017
Zhai Yanmin was given a three-year jail sentence, suspended for four years, after he pleaded guilty to subverting state power. Photo: TVB
Zhai Yanmin was given a three-year jail sentence, suspended for four years, after he pleaded guilty to subverting state power. Photo: TVB

Mainland rights activist gets suspended jail sentence

Mainland human rights activist Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民) was given a three-year jail sentence, suspended for four years, after he pleaded guilty to subverting state power, public broadcaster RTHK reports.

The Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, following a half-day trial, also ordered that Zhai be strippped of his political rights for four years, the report said.

Zhai was among 300 lawyers and activists arrested since July last year as part of a government crackdown on legal activism.

About 20 are still detained, the BBC said.

Three activists from Zhai’s law firm Fengrui, which specializes in human rights cases, are also on trial in Tianjin.

Police cordoned off the area around the court house during the trial, after protesters, accompanied by foreign diplomats, sought more information about the lawyers, RTHK said.

Reporters were directed to a local hotel where a transcription of the court proceedings was shown in a screening room.

The wives of those arrested have said they and their lawyers had been denied access to the activists for more than a year, receiving only occasional verbal updates, while some family members seeking information had been briefly detained themselves, according to RTHK.

Zhai’s wife, Liu Ermin, was taken into custody on Sunday night and has not been heard from since, friends were quoted as saying.

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AC/CG

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