China Set to Punish Another Human Rights Activist
Activist Ni Yulan was put on trial last week in Beijing but no verdict has been announced, although observers predict a heavy sentence. During previous arrests, Ms. Ni has told reporters, “officers had urinated on her, beaten her, and kicked her knees to the point where she can no longer walk.” The New York Times reports on Ni’s case and says that observers, including Ni’s daughter, expect a heavy sentence:
Freed from prison in 2010 but unable to walk, she ended up living in a Beijing park with her husband for nearly two months, until unflattering publicity led local officials to move them into a cheap hotel.
Their predicament will most likely take a turn for the worse in the coming weeks, when a court in the capital’s Xicheng district is expected to sentence the couple on charges that include “picking quarrels” and disturbing public order. “I’m afraid the sentence this time will be especially heavy,” their lawyer, Cheng Hai, said after their hearing on Thursday.
The trial of Ms. Ni and her husband, Dong Jiqin, capped a particularly grim year for Chinese dissidents and human rights advocates. In recent weeks, two veteran activists, Chen Wei and Chen Xi, have been given long sentences for essays criticizing the ruling Communist Party. Late last month, the authorities announced that Gao Zhisheng, a prominent rights lawyer, would have to spend an additional three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation.
Unaddressed in the terse official statement was how Mr. Gao, who had spent the previous 20 months in the custody of public security agents, had broken the law.
See also a report from Al Jazeera: