Chinese authorities are cracking down on activists they say are undermining the government.

Several lawyers and professors are in court this week, facing charges such as "damaging national security" and "harming social stability". 

Beijing says some of them have been trained and supported by Western governments, a charge to which a few defendants have confessed.

But critics say those confessions were most likely forced, and that trials this week have been unfairly closed to the public.

Activists say it is a sweeping crackdown on dissent. Are they right?

Presenter: Jane Dutton

Guests:

Einar Tangen - political affairs analyst.

Roseann Rife - East Asia research director at Amnesty International.

Samantha Hoffman - independent China analyst and research consultant.

Source: Al Jazeera