2nd subversion trial begins for China legal rights activist

TIANJIN, China (AP) — A Chinese legal activist has gone on trial on subversion charges in the second in a series of cases underscoring the ruling Communist Party’s determination to reign in government critics.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Hu Shigen went before the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court on Wednesday.

That comes a day after the court issued a suspended three-year sentence to activist Zhai Yanmin. Both were arrested in July last year as part of a nationwide government campaign. About 300 lawyers and activists were initially seized and questioned before most were released.

Four cases in all are expected to be heard by the court in the northern Chinese city this week, including that of lawyer Zhou Shifeng, head of the Fengrui Law Firm that represented numerous government critics.