House-Church Leader among Four Pro-Democracy Activists Sentenced in China

Posted at Morning Star News:

House-church leader and activist Hu Shigen. (nchrd.org)

(Morning Star News) – Two Christians were among four activists convicted under fabricated charges of “subverting state power” in China last week.

The Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court sentenced house-church leader Hu Shigen, 61, on Wednesday (Aug. 3) to seven and a half years in prison on charges of “subverting state power” for his work as an activist advocating democracy, according to news reports. On Friday (Aug. 5), the court sentenced Christian activist Gou Hongguo to a three-year, suspended sentence on the same charge. The 55-year-old Gou thus will not serve time in prison.

Also sentenced was 55-year-old human rights advocate Zhai Yanmin, who on Tuesday (Aug. 2) received a three-year suspended sentence for “subverting state power.” Prosecutors accused Zhai, along with Hu, Zhou and detained lawyer Li Heping, of establishing “a systematic ideology, method and steps to achieve” subverting state power, according to state media.

On Thursday (Aug. 4) the court sentenced human rights attorney Zhou Shifeng to seven years in prison for “subverting state power.” The 52-year-old Zhou leads a law firm, Fengrui, that defended people the communist government opposed.

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