Third anti-corruption activist goes on trial in China
Published on Apr 10, 2014 2:00 PM
BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese anti-corruption campaigner went on trial in Beijing on Thursday, his lawyer said, joining two others who appeared in court this week as China's government cracks down on activists.
Zhao Changqing, 45, faces a possible five-year prison sentence for supporting activists who unveiled banners in Beijing calling for government officials to disclose their assets - despite not being present, his lawyer Zhang Peihong said.
Zhao is associated with the New Citizens Movement, a loose-knit network of campaigners against corruption, among other issues. China jailed a founder of the movement in January, and more than 10 other members have been tried.
Zhao pleaded not guilty to a charge of "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order" for his alleged involvement in three small-scale protests in Beijing, which saw activists unfurl banners, Mr Zhang said. "(Zhao) didn't disturb public order in any way, he didn't even appear on the scene of the protests, because he was worried about his family," he added, adding that the hearing lasted around three hours.
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