Chinese legal scholar and activist Xu Zhiyong is in prison for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” A court in Beijing upheld that sentence today. Several other people with the ‘New Citizens Movement’ went on trial this week and face significant jail time. The group has held small protests and called for public disclosure of Chinese officials’ financial assets. For more about the crackdown on these anti-corruption activists, listen to our interview with Sophie Richardson, China director for Human Rights Watch.
UPDATE: Xu also has a new book out, in Chinese, about how to be a good citizen in China.
The book is broken into three parts. The first details the growth of Mr. Xu’s political awareness as a young lawyer suddenly exposed to the brutality visited on Chinese petitioners. In the second part, he outlines his ambitions for a democratic China, with separation of powers and a military with allegiance to the state rather than a party. The final section contains various writings and documents, including Mr. Xu’s recollections of conversations with police in the wake of his arrest last year.