SOURCE: THE TELEGRAPH
By Tom Phillips, Shanghai
Three Chinese activists are expected to go on trial this week in the latest chapter of what some observers have described as the most ferocious attack on Communist Party opponents since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
Ding Jiaxi, a 46-year-old lawyer who was arrested last May, should go on trial in Beijing on Tuesday morning, Liu Weiguo, a lawyer and friend, told The Telegraph.
Li Wei, another activist who was also arrested in May, will be tried alongside Mr Ding. Zhao Changqing, a third activist who spent time in jail following the June 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square, should face trial on Thursday.
The three, who are all members of a peaceful campaigning group called the New Citizens' Movement, are accused of "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order" – a vague charge which activists say is often used to imprison government critics.
The New Citizens Movement crackdown continues in China with the trials of three more activists. The crackdown by the Communist Party calls into question the viability of a "middle way" to reform Chinese society.
BY DAVID WERTIME
The BBC reports that Gary Locke, the U.S. Ambassador to China and former U.S. Commerce Secretary has demanded that China release Xu Zhiyong, the founder of the movement from custody. Read Locke's statement below:
"I am deeply concerned that the 22 January trial of Chinese legal scholar Xu Zhiyong and the prosecution of other good-governance advocates are retribution for their public campaigns to expose official corruption and for the peaceful expression of their views," Ambassador Mr Locke said in a statement.
Tiananmen Massacre Presentation