Chinese officials announced [press release] Sunday that 70-year-old former legislator Bai Enpei has been sentenced to death for his part in taking bribes. The announcement comes as the government has continued its anti-graft campaign speared by President Xi Jingping to root out any and all corrupt practices in the region. The court found that the former legislator had not only participated in bribes but had also obtained excessive assets allegedly as a result. Bai received [AP report] a suspended death sentence, which will convert to life in prison with good behavior, a ban from holding political offices as well as a forfeiture of all his assets.
The ongoing graft campaign has become a contentious civil rights issue as many criticize the campaign for targeting political activist. A southern China court in September sentenced [JURIST report] three prominent labor organizers to suspended prison terms, almost nine months after they were arrested during a crackdown on civic organizations working outside of the Communist Party. Noted human rights lawyer Xia Lin was sentenced [JURIST report] to 12 years in prison by a Chinese court also in September. Xia, who famously represented many Chinese dissidents including artist Ai Weiwei, was arrested and accused of fraudulently obtaining more than a million dollars to take care of gambling debts.