3 Chinese rights activists sent to jail

HONG KONG • A prominent Chinese rights activist, Guo Feixiong, has been sentenced to six years' jail by a court in southern China amid a continuing crackdown on human rights advocates across the country, his lawyer has said.

Two other activists, Liu Yuandong and Sun Desheng, were sentenced to jail for three years and 21/2 years, respectively, Guo's lawyer Zhang Lei said yesterday.

Guo and Sun had been accused of "gathering crowds to disturb social order" at a nearly week-long peaceful protest outside the gates of the Southern Weekly newspaper in January 2013. The protest called on the authorities to respect media freedom amid a censorship row.

"He wasn't guilty of anything at all. This sentence is unacceptable and unfair," Mr Zhang said yesterday.

Guo, 48, had previously been jailed for nearly five years for his grassroots activism.

Court officials did not respond to calls seeking comment.

A Chinese court on Thursday released on medical parole a journalist whose seven-year jail term for leaking state secrets was reduced by two years, said her lawyer.

A court statement concluded that Gao Yu, 71, suffers from "serious illness" and will be allowed to serve her sentence outside prison "for the time being". Her lawyer Shang Baojun said he did not know where Gao had been released to, though he hoped she could serve the rest of her term at home.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline '3 Chinese rights activists sent to jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe