China activist who called Xi clueless on coronavirus faces years in jail for ‘subversion’ | World news

by Newsfeed

A prominent Chinese activist detained for criticising President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak is being held on a state security charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail, his friends said on Sunday.

Xu Zhiyong, a former law lecturer and founder of the social campaign New Citizens Movement, was taken away by police on 15 February during a fresh crackdown on freedom of speech precipitated by the coronavirus crisis.

Xu’s family found out from Beijing police on Saturday that he has been held in secret detention on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power” and has been denied access to a lawyer, according to friends Teng Biao, a legal academic, and fellow activist Hua Ze.

They said Xu had been placed in “residential surveillance at a designated location” – a…

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