Outcry as China court jails prominent rights lawyer

Jan 28, 2019, 5:15 AM EST
(Source: Etan Liam/flickr)
(Source: Etan Liam/flickr)

China on Monday sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison on charges of state subversion, a verdict that prompted criticism from the United Nations and other rights activists, who described it as a “mockery” of the rule of law.

Wang, detained in 2015 during a sweeping crackdown on more than 200 lawyers and activists, was denied the right to appoint his own lawyer or to meet his family during the trial, writes the BBC.

The trial has progressed behind closed doors, in complete secrecy from journalists and foreign diplomats, culminating into a verdict that’s a stark manifestation of the ruling Communist Party’s abhorrence for concepts such as constitutionalism and an independent judicial system.

Wang’s wife, Li Wenzu, has relentlessly pursued her husband’s case, braving obstacles and intimidation by the state and filing almost weekly petitions to the Supreme People’s Court for a fair trial and justice, reports Al Jazeera