A prominent Chinese housing activist jailed today on spurious charges must be released immediately, Amnesty International said.
Ni Yulan, who is disabled, was handed a two year and eight-month sentence for "picking quarrels and making trouble" and "fraud." Her husband, Dong Jiqin, has been jailed for two years for "picking quarrels and making trouble".
Ni Yulan, a lawyer who has campaigned against forced evictions and other housing rights violations in China, has been detained for the past year.
The lawyer has been in a wheelchair for the past decade after being beaten by police in detention in 2002.
“These sentences are completely unacceptable and have been imposed solely because Ni Yulan has campaigned for the past decade, at great risk to herself, to protect human rights in China,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Asia Pacific.
"The authorities must release her and her husband, Dong Jiqin, immediately and unconditionally.”
Police detained Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin on 7 April 2011. Before their trial, authorities only allowed them to meet with their lawyers two or three times.