China: Chinese Court Sentences Ai Weiwei’s Lawyer to 12 Years for Fraud

September 22, 2016

A Beijing lawyer whose clients included the artist Ai Weiweijoined the swelling population of Chinese rights advocates in prison on Thursday, when a court sentenced him to 12 years after convicting him on fraud charges.

The lawyer, Xia Lin, and his wife and supporters strongly rejected the prosecutors’ claim that he had defrauded people, and said the case was part of the government’s campaign to silence Chinese rights lawyers who have challenged arbitrary state power. There had been little doubt that the court in Beijing would declare Mr. Xia guilty: Defendants in politically sensitive cases rarely, if ever, walk free in China.

Even so, the heavy sentence came as a shock to his lawyers and supporters.

“After he heard the verdict, Xia Lin said the case had been procedurally unfair and he was being persecuted for his rights defense work, for the cases he took on,” one of his defense lawyers, Ding Xikui, who was in the court for the verdict, said in an interview. “He’s planning to appeal.”

Before his detention nearly two years ago, Mr. Xia, 46, frequently represented clients who were at odds with the authorities. They included Mr. Ai, the artist-provocateur whose works often dwell on censorship and oppression.

Lawyer Xia Lin Will be Sentenced on September 22, and It Will Have Nothing to Do With the Law

China: Overturn Unjust Verdict & Release Lawyer Xia Lin


#Freethelawyers #709crackdown


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