The prominent Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for subversion. A court in Tianjin heard on Monday that Wang had been found “guilty of subversion of state power”.
Wang, a lawyer who defended political activists, victims of land seizures, and members of the banned religious group Falun Gong, was tried in a closed hearing at the second intermediate people’s court on 26 December. Chinese courts often try sensitive political cases during the holiday season when western diplomats and media are away. He was one of approximately 250 lawyers and activists detained in 2015, as part of what is now known as the 709 crackdown, and was the last of the group still awaiting trial.