US 'deeply disappointed' by jailing of China activistAgenec France-Presse . Washington / New Age Online
The United States said it was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the jailing on Sunday of prominent Chinese legal activist Xu Zhiyong, who was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in anti-graft protests.
‘We call on Chinese authorities to release Xu and other political prisoners immediately, cease restrictions on their freedom of movement, and guarantee them the protections and freedoms to which they are entitled under China's international human rights commitments,’ State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Lawyer Xu, 40, was a central figure in the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of Chinese activists who organised sporadic street protests and dinner discussions on causes from education equality to official corruption.
He is among 10 activists facing trial for disrupting public order -- a charge that carries a maximum five-year sentence -- after they held banners in public urging authorities to disclose their assets as a check against graft.
The State Department described Xu as ‘a leading public advocate for fiscal transparency and fighting official corruption.’
‘We are concerned that Xu's prosecution is retribution for his public campaign to expose corruption and for the peaceful expression of his views,’ the statement added.
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