BEIJING. Chinese human rights lawyer Ni Yulan was spending spending in prison Friday, April 20, as she was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail, Christian trial observers said.
Her husband, Dong Jiqin, was handed a two-year term by the same Beijing court on April 10, for “picking quarrels, provoking trouble and willfully destroying private and public property”.
Ni Yulan’s defense of Beijing residents whose homes were demolished to make way for the 2008 Olympics resulted in her being imprisoned on several occasions.
She also worked on a number of high-profile religious freedom cases, and is confined to a wheelchair as a result of beatings received in prison, which left her unable to walk and in poor health, said China Aid Association (CAA), a group assisting her and local Christians.
Ni Yulan was awarded the Dutch Government’s Tulip Award for Human Rights Defenders following her nomination by advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and CAA, but was detained in Beijing and prevented from attending the ceremony earlier this year.
“CSW is deeply concerned at the imprisonment of Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin, who have been detained since April last year,” said CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston.
Their trial in December was not open to public scrutiny, and Christians said they believe the charges brought against them are unjust.
Rights activist have urged China to release the couple. Chinese officials had no comment. (BosNewsLife)