China jails human rights activist for 7 years

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Beijing, Aug 4 (IANS) A Chinese court on Thursday sentenced a celebrated human rights activist and lawyer to seven years in prison for subversion.

The court in Tianjin city handed out the sentence to Zhou Shifeng, following a brief, closed-door trial, Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhou is the first lawyer to be sentenced, from among the hundreds who were arrested in the crackdown on human rights lawyers, activists and dissidents since mid-2015.

The court also stripped Zhou of his political rights for five years.

Zhou had fought cases considered “sensitive” to the Chinese regime, and his law firm Fengrui had backed lawyers who represented such cases, EFE news reported.

Zhou’s sentence follows the Tianjin court’s conviction of another two activists – Hu Shigen and Zhai Yanmin – on the same charges, in the last two days.

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