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24 Apr 2017


China: Human rights lawyer Xie Yang to face trial, possibly on charges of “inciting subversion of state power”

"China rights lawyer Xie Yang denied own defence for trial", 22 Apr 2017

…Chinese lawyer Xie Yang will not be allowed to pick his defence at his upcoming trial, his former attorney said, in a move rights groups called a breach of international standards. Xie, who has worked on numerous cases considered politically sensitive by the ruling Communist party including defending [victim’s of land disputes], has been detained since July 2015. He has claimed police have used “sleep deprivation, long interrogations, beatings, death threats, humiliations” on him while in custody, and the EU has voiced concern over his case.

“The court has designated a defence lawyer,” Xie’s former lawyer Chen Jiangang told AFP. “Everything has been done according to the will of the judiciary — not the interests of Xie and his family,” Chen said. The trial — possibly on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” — will be held Tuesday at the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court in southern Hunan province, Chen added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has overseen a tightening of controls on civil society since assuming power in 2012, closing avenues for legal activism that had opened up in recent years…Xie was arrested during the so-called “709 crackdown” in the summer of 2015, which saw some 200 legal staff and activists detained…Chinese courts…found six of the group guilty of serious crimes including “subverting state power” and “endangering national security”…