Chinese authorities have handed down a two-year sentence to prominent human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong for inciting subversion of state power and defaming the political system. He was also accused of using social media to promote public unrest.
The arrest opens the latest chapter in what activists are calling China’s “War on Law.” The BBC reports that more than 300 lawyers, legal assistants and activists have been questioned for their roles in anti-government activity and more than two dozen have been the subjects of formal investigations.
Amnesty International called Jiang’s trial a “Sham.” Speaking to Reuters from the United States, his wife Jin Bianling said she will not accept the verdict. She adds that she has not seen her husband since November 2016, when he disappeared while visiting the family of fellow rights lawyer Xi Yang.
In August, Jiang was put before state media during his trial when he read a confession which stated he had traveled overseas to receive training on dismantling China’s political system.
Before he was arrested, Jiang had a long clientele list of fellow rights lawyers, activists, Falun Gong supporters and Tibetan protesters. He was a vocal critic of the government’s suppression of descent, as well as its imprisonment of those seen by the ruling Communist Party as a threat to maintaining power and support.