Clashes at Trial for China Rights Lawyer

Tensions were high Monday outside a courtroom in Beijing where Pu Zhiqiang, one of China’s most prominent human-rights lawyers, is standing trial for “inciting ethnic hatred” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” The trial lasted for three hours and ended with no verdict, his family members said. Police clashed with foreign journalists and protesters, who were banned from entering. Authorities dragged at least three people away while senior U.S. diplomat Dan Biers was reportedly pushed by police as he tried to read a statement condemning the trial, the AFP reports. Pu faces as much as eight years in prison for posting comments on social media between 2011 and 2014 that mocked the Communist Party and condemned government policy in the mainly Muslim region of Xinjiang.