Newspaper article International New York Times

2 Activists in China Back on Trial for Protests ; One Is a Prominent Voice against Corruption, Land Seizures and Censorship

Newspaper article International New York Times

2 Activists in China Back on Trial for Protests ; One Is a Prominent Voice against Corruption, Land Seizures and Censorship

Article excerpt

Yang Maodong, a prominent dissident, is seen as a vocal critic on issues ranging from corruption and land seizures to newspaper censorship.

A prominent Chinese dissident, Yang Maodong, and another activist faced trial in southern China on Friday, the latest adversaries of the Communist Party's censorship and controls who are likely to be convicted and imprisoned for years on charges of disrupting public order.

Mr. Yang, better known by his pen name, Guo Feixiong, and a co- defendant, Sun Desheng, were arrested in August last year and charged with assembling a crowd to disrupt public order for their role in protests. That and similar disorder charges have been used to convict many human rights advocates who from late 2012 challenged the government of Xi Jinping, the party leader and president, to disclose officials' wealth and relax censorship and repression of dissent.

The two men faced trial in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. A first attempt to try them was cut short in September after they said they would remain silent throughout the proceedings and their lawyers also boycotted the trial. This time, Mr. Yang and Mr. Sun said they would vigorously defend themselves, Zhang Lei and Li Jinxing, the defense lawyers for Mr. …

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