< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Chinese Court Sentences Investor Who Led Protest

Friday, January 06, 2006

Chinese Court Sentences Investor Who Led Protest

From the Washington Post:

A businessman who led thousands of investors in a campaign against the government seizure of valuable oil fields in northern China was convicted Thursday of organizing illegal protests and sentenced to three years in prison, his relatives said.
The ruling against Feng Bingxian, 59, was the culmination of a prolonged and closely watched battle in Shaanxi province that had emerged as a test of President Hu Jintao's willingness to protect private property rights -- a principle the Communist Party recently enshrined in its constitution as part of its drive to build a market economy. Feng was one of about 60,000 private investors who developed oil wells in Shaanxi with the blessing of local officials in the mid-1990s. But the officials confiscated the wells in 2003 after they began showing steady profits, and the investors filed a landmark lawsuit against the government last year.
The fight over the wells, said to be worth as much as $850 million, attracted widespread coverage in state media, and Feng became known as an unofficial spokesman for the investors and one of the country's leading advocates of private property rights.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to read more about the protests for property rights in China.

--Tom Hayes


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