China human rights lawyer sentenced to 12 years News
China human rights lawyer sentenced to 12 years

Noted human rights lawyer Xia Lin was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Chinese court on Thursday. Xia, who famously represented many Chinese dissidents including artist Ai Weiwei, was arrested and accused of fraudulently obtaining [JURIST report] more than a million dollars to take care of gambling debts. He was convicted [QZ report] of obtaining less then half of the amount. Many accused [ChinaChange report] the court of handing down an abnormally harsh sentence to prevent other lawyers from representing activists as a part of a free speech crackdown. Xia Lin [SCMP report] was a famous human rights lawyer who credited his participation in the Tiananmen square protest as a reason to become a lawyer.

In July China announced plans to prosecute [JURIST report] prominent human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng on charges of subverting state power, furthering its recent crackdown on political dissidents. In April a civil rights lawyer was arrested and released [JURIST report] for posting an image online mocking Xi in relation to the Panama Papers release. In January Chinese authorities arrested [JURIST report] high profile human rights lawyer Wang Yu and her husband on charges of political subversion.