Beijing (AsiaNews) - Pu Zhiqiang, one of the leading human rights lawyers in all of China, today begun his first day under house arrest. The man, sentenced to three years of suspended prison sentence, has not submitted an appeal. After ten days of " designated residential surveillance ", a kind of preventive detention, he was released by authorities and taken home. His friends maintain it is a most subtle form of punishment as he has been “silenced".
The sentence against the dissident was issued by a court in the capital on 22 December 2015. He was found guilty of "inciting ethnic hatred", "causing public disorder" and "causing disturbance to social peace". In reality his conviction is the result of his stinging criticism of the repressive policies of the central government in Xinjiang Province. And, according to many, his ability to defend the rights of the weaker sections of the population.
The lawyer graduated from the University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. In 1989 he took part in the Tiananmen Square movement, and was one of 13 students to start a hunger strike to protest the corruption of the government.