Chinese activists indicted for discussing 'human rights' to be tried separately

2022-06-16 21:20:11 By : Ms. summer wang

Beijing [China], June 17 (ANI): Indicted for the same charges of discussing 'human rights', Chinese activist Xu Zhiyong and human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi will be tried separately on Friday and Monday respectively. Both of them are accused of "subversion of state power" and will be tried separately on June 17 and June 20 respectively. The information about the trial was confirmed by Ding Jiaxi's wife in her tweet. She also stated that the lawyers were not allowed to meet them nor were given a copy of the files, and the case on both of them was the same (for gathering in Xiamen in 2019 to discuss the democratic transition of China) however the trial is being done separately, local media reported. China has indicted twenty or so lawyers and activists who gathered at a rental villa near the Chinese seaside for discussing besieged human rights movement. Chris Buckley, writing in The New York Times said that a weekend get-together in 2019 offered Beijing a chance to deliver a blow to the "rights defence" movement. Now, two key participants face the prospect of years in prison. The two best-known attendees -- Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi -- are awaiting trial on subversion charges related to the gathering, according to indictments. Get-togethers like this, once common among Chinese rights campaigners, have become increasingly risky under Xi Jinping's hard-line rule. Under him, many journals, research organizations and groups that once sustained independent-minded activists in China have been dissolved. Xu Zhiyong, a former lecturer at the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications turned into a civil rights activist and founded the "New Citizens Movement" which aims to facilitate the transition of China toward constitutionalism.

In January 2014, he was sentenced to four years in prison but was detained again in 2020 after writing an essay online asking Xi to step down over his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it has been nearly two weeks since Shanghai's "unlocking", it appears businessmen and merchants are finding it difficult to resume business and production activities, reported local media. Videos posted by Chinese twitter accounts show merchants protesting and demanding rent refunds. In one of the video, it can be clearly seen that people are holding placards saying "No refund/cancellation of rent, no reopening". Videos show that these protestors were suppressed by a large number of public security officials. Calling for a relief package from the government, shop owners in Shanghai have held a rally. These citizens are bearing the brunt of the economic fallout from China's stringent COVID-19 lockdown measures in Shanghai, reported NHK. During the protest, over 100 owners gathered in a central part of the city, which is home to garment wholesalers and retailers in other fields. According to the protestors, they lost the opportunity to make money during the lockdown period, which came to an end on June 1 for much of the city. It is to be noted that authorities in Shanghai have revealed a plan to exempt tenants of state-run commercial complexes from rent payments. However, this relief package is of no avail to the ailing protestors. This is because the protesters are not eligible for the exemptions, as they rent privately-run properties. One of the participants said her revenue dwindled to nothing during the lockdown period. The participant did not only speak for herself but also for other shop owners like her. It was the latest sign of growing discontent with the authorities over their handling of the coronavirus outbreak. But the protest was quickly cut short by the police, as per the media portal. (ANI)

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