Chinese Rights Activist Goes on Trial

Posted August 12th, 2011 at 2:15 pm (UTC-5)
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((Updates w/Amnesty React last graf)

A Chinese human rights activist has gone on trial in Beijing, nearly four months after her arrest in a widespread crackdown on dissent.

Wang Lihong — a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations — was taken into custody in April and charged with creating a disturbance.

Rights groups say the case stems from her support for using the Internet to organize anti-government protests like those that swept across much of the Arab world.

The French News Agency quotes witnesses as saying police were stationed outside the courtroom Friday to keep Wang's supporters under control. Western diplomats were denied access to the courtroom.

Wang faces a possible sentence of five years in jail if convicted.

The human rights group Amnesty International called the trial “a farce,” and demanded her immediate release.