China convicts Christian lawyer of subverting state power

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A Chinese court says it has convicted a prominent Christian human rights lawyer of subverting state power and sentenced him to three years' imprisonment, suspended for four years.

Li Heping was one of hundreds detained in July 2015 in a crackdown on rights lawyers and activists by Chinese authorities. He is among four lawyers and a number of activists still in detention.

The Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said Friday the trial was held Tuesday behind closed doors because the case involved state secrets. It said that since 2008 Li had repeatedly used the internet and interviews with foreign media to discredit and attack state power and the legal system.

As a lawyer, Li defended dissidents, victims of forced evictions and members of the banned Falun Gong meditation sect.