China activist Xu Zhiyong sentenced to 4 years' jail
BEIJING (AFP) - Prominent Chinese legal activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years' jail on Sunday for his role in anti-graft protests, a court said, furthering a crackdown on a rights movement he championed.
The Beijing intermediate court "sentenced Xu Zhiyong to four years in jail" after finding him guilty of "gathering crowds to disrupt public order", it announced on an official account on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
Officers in uniform and plain clothes blocked pedestrians and an AFP journalist from approaching the courthouse in the west of the capital, which had been cordoned off with police tape.
Lawyer Xu, 40, was a central figure in the New Citizens Movement, a loose network of activists who organised sporadic street protests and dinner discussions on causes from education equality to official corruption.