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China jails activist Xu Zhiyong for four years for ‘disturbing public order’

A Chinese court has jailed leading activist Xu Zhiyong for four years for public order offences related to his role in a social justice and transparency movement.

Xu is a legal scholar and advocate who has been at the forefront of campaigns for rights in China for a decade. Several others from the New Citizens Movement which he co-founded have stood trial already or will appear on Monday.

The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on its microblog on Sunday morning that it had found Xu guilty of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” following his closed-door trial on Wednesday.

The charges related to small-scale, peaceful street protests by members of the movement, calling for educational equality and for officials to declare their assets.

More Follow External Link to Tania Branigan, The Guardian