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Startseite Urgent Actions 2017 09 Torture fears for detained human rights defender Activist sentenced to two years in prison
FI 235/17-4
Abgeschlossen am 7. Januar 2019

Activist sentenced to two years in prison

AI-Index: ASA 17/9641/2019

Chinese human rights defender Zhen Jianghua was convicted of «inciting subversion of state power» and sentenced to two years in prison on 28 December 2018. The executive director of «Human Rights Campaign in China», an online platform, with over 10 years’ experience working for marginalized communities in China, Zhen has been persecuted solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and association.

Zhen Jianghua was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of «inciting subversion of state power» on 2 September 2017. Less than four weeks later, he was moved into «residential surveillance in a designated location». On 29 March 2018, Zhen was formally arrested and reportedly stood trial in Zhuhai City Intermediate People's Court on 10 August 2018. The court found Zheng Jianghua guilty of «inciting subversion of state power» and sentenced him to two years in prison on 28 December 2018.

According to a source, Zhen Jianghua’s father was present at the sentencing hearing. As neither Zhen’s family nor his state-appointed defence lawyer revealed further details about the indictment, verdict or trial proceedings, it is uncertain how the evidence was presented and pursued at trial. Since his arrest, and throughout his detention, Zhen Jianghua has been denied access to the lawyers of his choice and the trial was held behind closed doors, raising serious concerns about denial of his rights to a fair trial.

Zhen Jianghua serves as executive director for the Human Rights Campaign in China, a virtual organization that campaigns for human rights defenders at risk and helps individuals to document and publicize the human rights violations they have experienced. Zhen Jianghua is also the executive editor and founder of ATGFW.ORG, a website that advocates against Internet censorship and teaches people how to access information by circumventing China’s system of online surveillance and censorship, known colloquially as the «Great Firewall». In addition, Zhen Jianghua has also led an education project on HIV/AIDS prevention in Zhuhai city.

Despite his years-long commitment in promoting equality, defending human rights and giving voice to the most vulnerable in China, Zhen Jianghua was less known internationally, partly because he had deliberately taken a low-key approach to his activism. Local activists who have campaigned for Zhen’s release have expressed appreciation for Amnesty International’s contribution to raising Zhen’s international profile and mobilizing international pressure on the Chinese authorities to release him.

Amnesty International continues to monitor Zhen Jianghua’s situation and will respond to any developments as appropriate.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

NAME AND PREFFERED PRONOUN: Zhen Jianghua (him/his)

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