January 26, 2014
Xu Zhiyong, a high-profile Chinese activist accused of organizing protests against official corruption, has been convicted and sentenced to four years in prison, a Beijing court announced Sunday.
The U.S. State Department immediately released a statement saying the sentence was “retribution for his public campaign to expose corruption.”
Chinese prosecutors alleged that Xu Zhiyong “gathered a crowd to disturb public order” after a series of small protests. The demonstrators unfurled banners in Beijing calling for officials to publicly declare their assets, said Xu’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang.