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China court upholds sentence of rights activist

[JURIST] A Chinese court rejected the final appeal Friday of Chen Guangcheng [HRW case timeline], a blind Chinese human rights legal activist, who was sentenced [JURIST report] to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic." The Intermediate Court in Linyi city upheld the verdict and sentence after a Chinese intermediate appellate court ordered a retrial [JURIST report] of Chen's case in November.

Chen claims the charges are retribution for his documentation of forced sterilizations and abortions [TIME feature] performed by Chinese officials to enforce China'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. Human rights activists in China [JURIST news archive] characterize Chen's prosecution as indicative of China's uncompromising stance against public dissent. RTT News has more.

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