China rejects web dissidents' appeal

A Chinese court has turned down the appeals of four internet dissidents who were sentenced to up to 10 years in jail for posting their views on social issues online.

    Defendants set up a study group to discuss social problems

    "The sentence has been upheld and the appeals refused for all of them", Lu Kun, wife of Yang Zili, one of the plaintiffs, said on Monday.

    "They protested against the sentence. They shouted at the judge that they were innocent and told him they were protesting against political persecution".
     
    The judge told them to submit a protest in writing.

    Xu Wei, Yang Zili, Zhang Honghai, and Jin Haike were sentenced for subverting state power five months ago.

    They were appealing on the basis that three key witnesses who testified against them in the original trial had since retracted their statements.
     
    Their original statements had been made while they were in detention.

    "The sentence is unfair. This is a case of injustice. They are all innocent," said Lu, who was allowed into the Beijing First Intermediate Court to hear the appeal.

    The court refused to comment.

    Xu, a former journalist and Jin, a young intellectual, were sentenced to 10 years in jail while the two others received eight-year sentences.
     
    The four were arrested in March 2001 after they set up the "New Youth Association," an intellectual study group that discussed China's growing social problems, including rural issues and widening inequality.

    The group was disbanded three to four months after it was formed and the arrests came soon after that, Lu said.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Sadly but frankly, Donald Trump is not going anywhere

    Sadly but frankly, Donald Trump is not going anywhere

    Trump isn't going to be impeached by this or perhaps any future Congress as currently constituted.

    Defeating ISIL

    Defeating ISIL

    An animated timeline of how ISIL captured and lost key cities in Syria and Iraq.