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China human rights lawyer convicted of inciting subversion

[JURIST] Chinese human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng [Wikipedia profile] has been convicted by a court in Beijing of inciting subversion of state power [CECC report], his lawyers said Thursday. Gao was convicted after entering a guilty plea, but his lawyers - who were not permitted to attend court proceedings - said they doubted the credibility of his "spontaneous" admission of guilt.

Gao gained international notice by representing controversial clients, including members of the banned sect Falun Gong [group website; BBC backgrounder]. Gao's license to practice was revoked [CECC backgrounder; HRW letter] late last year. There have been several high-profile subversion trials in China this year, including the jailing of several journalists and a ten-year sentence for a teacher [JURIST reports] who posted pro-democracy essays on the Internet. AsiaNews has more.

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