Chinese farmer who praised lawyers during crackdown on trial

Jul 15, 2021, 6:21 PM | Updated: Jul 16, 2021, 7:24 am

BEIJING (AP) — A prominent Chinese pig farmer who was detained after praising lawyers during a crackdown on legal activists by President Xi Jinping’s government went on trial Thursday on charges including fighting with police and organizing a protest, defense lawyers said.

Sun Dawu, chairman of Dawu Agriculture Group, is among 20 defendants on trial in Gaobeidian, southwest of Beijing in Hebei province. They were detained after Dawu employees in August 2020 tried to stop a state-owned enterprise from demolishing a company building.

Sun said he is innocent, according to a written statement by defense lawyers. It said there were “great disputes” between them and prosecutors over evidence and the law but gave no details. It said the trial was due to resume Friday.

Phone calls to the court on Thursday weren’t answered.

Sun became nationally known in 2003 when he was charged with “illegal fundraising” after soliciting investment for his business from friends and neighbors. The case prompted an outpouring of public support for Sun.

Since then, Sun has praised lawyers who help the public at a time when prominent legal figures have been imprisoned by Xi’s government. Sun’s lawyer in the 2003 case, Xu Zhiyong, disappeared in February 2020. Fellow activists say he was charged with treason.

In the latest case, Sun and other defendants are charged with fighting with police, organizing a protest, sabotaging production, obstructing public services, illegal mining, illegally occupying farmland and illegally taking public deposits, according to a copy of the charges given out by defense lawyers.

Sun was accused by police of “provoking quarrels,” a charge used against labor and other activists, when he was detained in August 2020.

Sun and the other defendants are “in generally poor health” after months in detention, according to the statement. It said two left court Thursday for medical treatment.

The trial officially is open to the public but only one spectator from the family of each defendant and 10 from the company were allowed due to anti-coronavirus restrictions, according to the statement.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures during a press conference at the ...
Associated Press

China lashes out at US, British intelligence services

BEIJING (AP) — The United States is “the biggest threat to world peace, stability and development,” China said Thursday, continuing its sharp rhetoric in response to U.S. accusations of Chinese spying and threats to the international order. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s comments came a day after the head of the FBI and the leader […]
4 hours ago
Maria Grazia Lonigro, right, and Mimosa Burkina, mothers of Luigi Matti Altadonna and Admir two of ...
Associated Press

Trial opens in deadly collapse of Italy’s Morandi Bridge

GENOA, Italy (AP) — Fifty-nine people went on trial Thursday for the 2018 collapse of Genoa’s Morandi bridge, accused of manslaughter and other charges in the deaths of 43 people. The defendants include former executives and experts of the company that manages many of Italy’s bridges and highways, as well as former officials of the […]
4 hours ago
FILE - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a closed-door ...
Associated Press

Dems want to tax high earners to protect Medicare solvency

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats want to boost taxes on some high earners and use the money to extend the solvency of Medicare, the latest step in the party’s election-year attempt to craft a scaled-back version of the economic package that collapsed last year, Democratic aides told The Associated Press. Democrats expect to submit legislative […]
4 hours ago
FILE - Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson arrives for a press conference at Vote Leave headquarter...
Associated Press

Boris Johnson reached the top but was felled by his flaws

LONDON (AP) — Boris Johnson wanted to be like his hero Winston Churchill: a larger-than-life character who led Britain through a time of crisis. He was felled by crises of his own making, as a trickle of ethics allegations became a flood that engulfed his government and turned his own party against him. Johnson agreed […]
4 hours ago
Media gather near 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, July 7, 2022. Prime Minister Boris Johnson...
Associated Press

From Brexit to Partygate, a timeline of Johnson’s career

LONDON (AP) — He was the mayor who basked in the glory of hosting the 2012 London Olympics, and the man who led the Conservatives to a thumping election victory on the back of his promise to “get Brexit done.” But Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister was marred by his handling of the coronavirus […]
4 hours ago
FILE - Flags of countries of the world hang over an empty Terminal E, at Logan Airport in Boston, S...
Associated Press

FAA to give airports $1 billion for terminals and upgrades

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is giving nearly $1 billion to 85 airports to expand and upgrade terminals and other facilities, using money approved in last year’s huge infrastructure bill. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the projects will help meet future demand for travel and make flying safer and more efficient. “I don’t think […]
4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Chinese farmer who praised lawyers during crackdown on trial