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Dissident receives sentence of 12 years

December 24, 2005

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that on December 23, political dissident Xu Wanping was convicted of "incitement to subvert state power" and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and four years deprivation of political rights.

According to Xu Wanping's wife, Chen Xianying, Xu Wanping has not admitted guilt and did not sign the court's decision. During the criminal proceedings he was represented by a government appointed lawyer, but according to HRIC sources the lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, was refused access to Xu on grounds that his case involved state secrets.

Xu Wanping, a key political activist based in Chongqing, was detained by public security police on April 30 without a warrant or other legal documentation required by law. Police reportedly interrogated Xu regarding his participation in a signature campaign related to a recent anti-Japanese protest, then carried out a search of his home and removed his computer, documents and other personal effects. On May 24, Xu was formally charged with "incitement to subvert state power."

Human Rights in China condemns Xu's heavy sentence and the failure by the authorities to comply with due process requirements throughout Xu Wanping's detention, arrest, and trial. HRIC calls upon the Chinese government to comply with its international human rights obligations and to enforce domestic due process provisions intended to protect individuals against the type of arbitrary treatment that Xu Wangping suffered.