China jails citizen activists up to 6 1/2 years

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 12:34 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A court in eastern China has imposed jail terms of up to six and a half years to three activists who were part of a nascent civil rights movement that has urged government officials to publicly disclose their assets.

Attorney Zhou Ze says a district court in the city of Xinyu on Thursday sentenced activists Liu Ping and Wei Zhongping to six and a half years' imprisonment each while another activist, Li Sihua, was handed three years.

The activists were convicted of "creating a disturbance," a vaguely defined offense that has been increasingly used to lock up activists. Liu and Wei also were convicted of two other charges.

The sentences reflect the hard line that Communist Party leaders have taken against political dissent, no matter how peaceful or loosely organized.

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