BEIJING A Chinese court on Thursday jailed a prominent civil rights lawyer for 12 years on fraud charges, his lawyer said, a punishment rights advocates called retaliation for his defence of high-profile clients who had challenged the government.
Xia Lin, detained by Beijing police in November 2014, is the latest in a series of activists and lawyers to be sentenced as President Xi Jinping’s administration tightens control over civil society, citing a need to boost security and stability.
“Our defence maintained his innocence. We believe this sort of sentence goes against our own views,” Xia’s lawyer Ding Xikui told reporters outside the Beijing Number 2 intermediate court….
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