Cina: In carcere per aver protestato legalmente

Ji Sizun, avvocato di 58 anni che è stato arrestato dopo aver sostenuto una protesta legale in Pechino durante le Olimpiadi, è stato condannato a 3 anni di carcere.

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A legal advocate who was arrested after applying to hold a legal protest in Beijing during the Olympics in August has been sentenced to three years in prison, said a lawyer who has been asked to represent the advocate in the appeals process.

The legal advocate, Ji Sizun, 58, was sentenced on Jan. 7 by a judge in the city of Fuzhou for forging official seals and documents, the lawyer, Lin Kaihua, said Wednesday.

Ji was one of many victims of a ploy by the central government during the Beijing Olympics that has angered human rights advocates and has raised questions about whether the International Olympic Committee should have put more pressure on the Chinese government to respect human rights and freedom of speech.

In the lead-up to the Olympics, the central government announced that it had designated three parks in Beijing as legal protest zones and that anyone could apply to hold protests in the parks. When people did apply, however, their requests were ignored or they were detained and arrested. The government never allowed a single protest.

In the most infamous incident of would-be protesters being arrested, two frail women in their 70s were detained for applying to hold a protest over a land dispute issue. The women were sentenced to re-education through labor.

Edward Wong, International Herald Tribune, 1/16/2009

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