China: YARPTI condemns Jail of two rights activists for online posts

Image result for women’s rights activist Su Changlan

Chinese authorities’ continue to violate human rights as two supporters of Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy protests became the latest to be convicted. A court in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Friday sentenced two rights activists to jail for subversion for using the internet and social media to “attack the socialist system.”

Su Changlan, who has campaigned for the land rights of local farming communities, including the right of rural women, was jailed for three years after being found guilty of “incitement to subvert state power” by the Foshan Intermediate People’s Court after a more than two years in pretrial detention.Fellow Foshan rights activist Chen Qitang was jailed for four years and six months on the same charge.

The court judgement found that Su and Chen had “used the internet and social media to spread rumors and defamation, and repeatedly published or forwarded articles and posts containing attacks on the socialist system.”

“Their actions constitute the crime of incitement to subvert state power,” the court said.

Defense attorney Liu Xiaoyuan said the sentencing hearing lasted just three minutes, and judges hadn’t inquired whether or not the defendants would appeal.

“This was unexpected, and went against the expectations of the defendants,” Liu said.

YARPTI joins other human rights organization to demand for their immediate and unconditional release.

The authorities have already tormented both them and their families over the past two and a half years of their unjust an unlawful detention. It is reprehensible they have been convicted solely for peacefully expressing their views

Earlier this month Su, 45, became the third recipient of the Cao Shunli Memorial Award for Human Rights Defenders, in honor of her work “promoting human rights at the grassroots level in China.”

There have been growing concerns for her health after a prolonged period in police detention with no medical treatment for her heart arrhythmia and hyperthyroidism, rights groups say.

Su’s detention has been judged “arbitrary” by the United Nations, which has called on Beijing to release and compensate her. She is still being held in the Nanhai Detention Center in Foshan.

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