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Top China activist Xu Zhiyong to appeal jail term: Lawyer

Published on Jan 28, 2014 7:04 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Prominent Chinese activist Xu Zhiyong will appeal against a four-year jail term for organising protests, his lawyer said on Tuesday, with proceedings still underway against many members of his rights movement.

China's dissent-wary authorities have cracked down on Xu's New Citizens Movement over the past year, so far detaining at least 20 and trying 10 on charges of disrupting public order. Xu was the first to be sentenced, on Sunday.

The loose network of activists mounted small-scale demonstrations and dinner discussions for causes ranging from government corruption to education equality. Many held banners in public urging officials to disclose their assets.

Xu's lawyer Zhang Qingfang told AFP that the Beijing court would probably not overturn Xu's sentence, but lodging an appeal might help or at least prolong the cases of other activists, who are being tried in a lower court.

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