August 3, 2016
A former literature professor who spent 16 years in prison after China’s 1989 crackdown on democracy protests was convicted of subversion Wednesday and sentenced to 7½ years behind bars.
Hu Shigen, a writer and member of underground Christian churches, was tried by the No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court in Tianjin, a city southeast of Beijing. He is among hundreds of people who were detained last year in a broad crackdown on civil society advocates and human rights lawyers.
Hu, two other activists and a prominent lawyer are being tried this week in Tianjin. On Tuesday, activist Zhai Yanmin was convicted on subversion charges but was given a suspended prison sentence.
Hu, who is now in his early 60s, was born into a poor family and worked in a car factory before going on to study Chinese literature at Peking University in the late 1970s. He became a lecturer at what is now Beijing Language and Culture University in the 1980s.
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