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Chinese lawyer gets seven years in 3rd subversion trial this week

BEIJING — A Chinese lawyer was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday in the third in a series of subversion trials demonstrating the ruling Communist Party’s determination to silence independent human rights activists and government critics.

The sentence given to Zhou Shifeng results from his role as director of Beijing’s Fengrui Law Firm, which took on sensitive cases and represented people who dared challenge the party.

Zhou, 52, accepted the ruling and will not appeal, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

His half-day trial in the northern city of Tianjin followed those of two related legal activists this week, both on charges of subversion.

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Zhou was accused of coming under the influence of ‘‘anti-China forces’’ and opposing China’s government and political system. He was also accused of opposing the ‘‘one country, two systems’’ policy applied in former foreign colonies Hong Kong and Macau.

Associated Press