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Jailed China activist Xu Zhiyong defiant as court rejects appeal

Published on Apr 12, 2014 6:53 AM
 
Chinese rights advocate Xu Zhiyong speaks during a meeting in Beijing in this file handout photo dated on March 30, 2013. Xu Zhiyong, 40, was sentenced to four years in prison in January for backing demonstrations in which a handful of activists held up banners calling for government officials to disclose their assets, as Beijing cracks down on a burgeoning rights movement. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING, (AFP) - A prominent Chinese legal activist defiantly denounced a court as "absurd" on Friday as it upheld his jail sentence for supporting anti-corruption protests, his lawyer said.

Xu Zhiyong, 40, was sentenced to four years in prison in January for backing demonstrations in which a handful of activists held up banners calling for government officials to disclose their assets, as Beijing cracks down on a burgeoning rights movement.

Beijing's high court rejected his appeal and upheld its original verdict, his lawyer Zhang Qingfang told AFP, but his client remained resolute.

"This absurd judgment cannot halt the tide of human progress," he said Xu told the court. "The communist dictatorship is bound to disperse like haze, and the light of freedom and justice will illuminate the East." The legal scholar is a founder and central figure in the New Citizens Movement, a loose-knit network which campaigns on corruption, access to education and other issues.

 
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