China: housing activist sentenced to prison

A Beijing court on April 10 sentenced Chinese housing activist and lawyer Ni Yulan to two years and eight months in prison on charges of fraud and “inciting a disturbance” in Beijing. Ni’s husband, Dong Jiqin, was also sentenced to two years in prison on similar charges. Ni and her husband had assisted victims of government land seizures, including those displaced by the Beijing Olympics project, prior to their arrest in August 2011. Amnesty International called for Ni and her husband’s immediate release, saying that that charges are false and meant to punish Yulan for her activist work. Ni has been confined to a wheelchair since 2002, when prison guards beat her severely while she was serving one of two prior prison sentences. In poor health, lying on a stretcher and relying on an oxygen machine, Ni pleaded not guilty at her trial in December. Although a court spokesperson indicated the trial was open to the public, foreign journalists and diplomats were barred from the proceedings.

From Jurist, April 9. Used with permission.

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