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8 Aug 2016


China rejects Western criticism of crackdown on rights defenders

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China rebuked the United States on Saturday for criticising it over the convictions of rights activists, with a Tianjin court last week sentencing three rights advocates and a lawyer to up to 7 ½ years’ jail for subversion…The sentencing has been condemned by international rights groups as an effort to silence critics. On Thursday, a State Department spokesman said the United States was concerned about the convictions made on “apparently politically motivated charges”, and called for the release the lawyers and activists. The European Union also said the conviction of the activists runs contrary to China’s stated commitment to strengthening the rule of law.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the “US accusations are groundless” and urged Washington to “respect the facts”. “Chinese judicial authorities deal with related cases in accordance with law so that the legitimate rights and interests of defendants could be effectively protected,” Xinhua cited Hua as saying…