China begins trial of lawyer Xie Yang on subversion charges

A court in central China is trying human rights lawyer Xie Yang in one of several cases in which the country's legal professionals are accused of undermining the system.

Xie's trial opened Monday in the Intermediate People's Court in Changsha, which said on social media that Xie faces charges of inciting subversion against state power and disturbing court procedures.

Xie was arrested in July 2015 along with dozens of other lawyers and activists in the Chinese government's biggest-ever crackdown against the country's human rights movement.

Xie's case gained particular prominence in January when Xie's family released his account of being tortured while in detention, prompting a letter of concern from 11 Western governments.

Several of Xie's supporters have also been detained in recent months, including his former defense lawyer.