A Chinese court has sentenced a prominent human rights lawyer to 12 years in prison on fraud charges.
Xia Lin (夏霖) was sentenced by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on Thursday, nearly two years since he was detained, the Associated Press reports.
His sentencing comes amid a string of cases and subversion trials against lawyers, human rights activists and government critics, the news agency said.
Advocacy group Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders said the charges against Xia related to money he had borrowed from friends, who asserted they did so freely and had not brought legal complaints against him.
Investigators focused not on the fraud charges, but on Xia’s association with government critics, including renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei, the report cited the group as saying.
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