Thursday, November 3, 2016

Labor activist Meng Han sentenced today to one year 9 months in prison

November 3, 2016

The labor activist Meng Han was sentenced today by a Guangzhou court to one year and nine months in prison for "gathering crowds to disrupt public order" according to his lawyer. Meng pleaded guilty and said he would not appeal. Last December, he was arrested with his fellow staff members from the Panyu Workers Center, Zeng Feiyang and Zhu Xiaomei. As I wrote in an earlier post, Zeng and Zhu were tried earlier on September 26 and given a suspended sentence of four years and two years respectively for the same charge. There is reason to believe that Meng was given a harsher sentence because, unlike Zeng and Zhu, he had refused to write down his confession before the trial. Police reportedly visited Meng's parents two days ago to try to pressure them to persuade Meng to plead guilty. Meng also had another strike against him. He been detained for nine months on the same charge in 2014 when he had been a security guard who had staged a rooftop demonstration at the Guangzhou Chinese Medicine Hospital with 11 other guards to protest the management's refusal to discuss their grievances. Given that Meng has already been in detention for 10-11 months, it is expected that he will only have to stay in prison another 10-11 months to complete his sentence.

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