Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong condemned to two years prison for 'subversion'

He defended Gao Zhisheng and Chen Guangcheng, members of Falun Gong and AIDS patients infected by state clinics. Despite having the chance to flee to the US, he preferred to stay in China to defend his fellow lawyers, victims of the "709" repression.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The People's Interim Court in Changsha (Hunan) today sentenced Jiang Tianyong, a lawyer, two years in prison for incitement to subversion against the state.

Jiang, 46, a Protestant Christian, is famous for defending great personalities of Chinese dissent, including Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng and blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, as well as members of Falun Gong and Aids sufferers infected in state clinics. He was imprisoned in the past for months and tortured, which he later denounced.

In 2009, Jiang was dismissed from practising law, but he continued to work as an activist. For some time he has been helping the family members of prisoners following a campaign against human rights defenders. In July 2015, the police arrested some 300 lawyers and activists defending the causes of people against the abuses of local companies and authorities. The police raid  carried out over a period of weeks is called "709" reflecting the date it was launched (July 9).

In 2014, his wife Jin Bianling and daughter received political asylum in the United States. Jiang preferred to stay in China to work for his friends in prison. He was arrested last year in Hunan, trying to visit Xie Yang, another human rights advocate and victim of repression.