04/25/2017, 18.23
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Court postpones Xie Yang’s trial without reason with protesters and diplomats present

Accused of "inciting subversion of state power," the lawyer is one of the more prominent 709 crackdown lawyers and activists detained since 2015. “We are following this case very closely,” EU official says.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Chinese court today postponed of a prominent human rights lawyer in a case that has sparked international concern over torture allegations.

Xie Yang, who has worked on numerous cases considered politically sensitive by the ruling Communist Party, was among hundreds of lawyers and activists detained in a crackdown in the summer of 2015.

Dozens of supporters and several diplomats gathered at the courthouse in the central city of Changsha for the start of Xie’s trial, but were told the case would not be heard today. A new date was not provided.

Xie said police used horrible torture methods against him, such as “sleep deprivation, long interrogations, beatings, death threats, humiliations”.

The European Union and other countries have recently expressed strong concern over the case, calling on Chinese authorities to release the accused.

“We are following this case very closely and our human rights counsellor is in Changsha today,” a Beijing-based EU spokesperson said.

Xie was indicted in December on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “disrupting court order”. Among Xie’s clients were Chinese activists who supported Hong Kong democracy.

Xie is being represented by a court designated advocate after he was denied the right to pick his own defence, his former attorney Chen Jiangang said.

The new lawyer, He Xiaodian, could not be reached for comment.

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