[JURIST] Chen Guangcheng [HRW case timeline], a blind Chinese human rights legal activist, was sentenced Thursday to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic." Chen supporters have said, however, that the charges were fabricated and he was actually arrested for reporting complaints of government mandated abortions and forced sterilizations [TIME feature] to comply with the country's one-child policy.
Chen was tried without the assistance of his team of prominent Chinese lawyers, who were arrested during the trial [JURIST report] on charges of stealing a wallet. The US State Department has condemned [press briefing text] the arrest of the lawyers. AP has more.