China puts anti-corruption activists on trial: Lawyers
BEIJING (AFP) - Three Chinese anti-corruption activists who unfurled banners calling for government officials to declare their assets stood trial on Tuesday for "illegal assembly", a lawyer said, despite an official campaign against graft.
An anti-corruption drive championed by China's President Xi Jinping has been heavily publicised in state-run media, but the ruling Communist party keeps a tight grip on political dissent and the case is seen as part of a clampdown on citizens who publicly demand reforms.
Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua - charged after taking photographs of themselves displaying the banners outside a housing complex in April - all pleaded not guilty, one of their lawyers said, adding that illegal assembly carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Asset disclosure is seen by some as a key change that could help China prevent graft after reports of enormous wealth amassed by officials and their families.