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Chinese journalist Huang Qi is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on January 22, 2015. Today, Huang was sentenced to 12 years in prison. (AFP/Fred Dufour)

Chinese court sentences journalist Huang Qi to 12 years in prison

July 29, 2019 10:50 AM ET

Taipei, July 29, 2019 -- The Mianyang Intermediate People's Court today sentenced Huang Qi, publisher of the human rights news website 64 Tianwang, to 12 years in prison on charges of "deliberately leaking state secrets," and "illegally providing state secrets to foreign countries," according to a statement published on the court's website.

Huang has been held at the Mianyang Detention Center since his arrest on November 28, 2016, according to CPJ research. He has kidney and heart diseases, and tumors on his chest and stomach for which he has been denied treatment while in custody, Huang's lawyers told CPJ in 2017.

"Huang Qi's long prison sentence is an outrageous injustice," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator, in Washington, D.C. "China is incarcerating a man suffering from serious health issues whose only crime has been to expose human rights abuses by the Chinese government."

The sentencing came after months of secret proceedings without lawyers present, according to a volunteer at 64 Tianwang whose name CPJ is withholding for fear they might face retaliation.

Since Huang was arrested, authorities have disbarred two of his lawyers, Sui Muqing and Liu Zhengqing, and Huang dismissed another lawyer, Li Jinglin, out of concern for the lawyer's safety, according to news reports and CPJ research. Huang's mother, Pu Wenqing, has been under police guard at her home since February and was barred from attending Huang's trial, according to CPJ research.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The dateline has been corrected to reflect that the alert was published on July 29.

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