Experiments with Truth: News

In China, a week full of trials over dissent

This is likely to be a busy, and somber, week for China’s human rights lawyers. At least eight citizens are due to stand trial for participating in the New Citizens Movement and other protest groups that last year tried to push the ruling Communist Party to accept greater accountability and political liberalization.

The most prominent of the accused, Xu Zhiyong, a scholar and legal advocate in Beijing, is scheduled for trial on Wednesday, when he will face charges of “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” But on Thursday and Friday other activists are due to tried on the same charges – six in Beijing and one in Guangzhou, in far southern China – although some of their lawyers have requested delays.

The cluster of likely trials – all almost sure to bring guilty verdicts and prison sentences – is intended by President Xi Jinping’s government to warn off others who support demands for reining in party power, said Teng Biao, a human rights advocate and law lecturer who knows many of the defendants.

More Follow External Link to Chris Buckley, The New York Times