China Quake Dissident Jailed for 3 Years

Huang Qi, an activist who investigated shoddy school construction after the 5.12 Sichuan earthquake in 2008, has been sentenced to three years in jail. From Washington Post:

Chinese dissident Huang Qi was sentenced to three years’ jail on Monday on charges of illegally possessing state secrets, his wife said, decrying the verdict as revenge for his activism after last year’s huge earthquake.

Huang was sentenced in a court in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province where the earthquake on May 12 last year killed at least 80,000 people, including children crushed in schools that collapsed.

The verdict was another sign that China’s ruling Communist Party is in no mood to relax political controls following last week’s visit by U.S. President Barack Obama, who pressed the government on human rights.

Huang, a veteran human rights campaigner, was detained in June last year after offering help to parents protesting that schools felled by the quake were made vulnerable by shoddy and corrupt building practices.

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