China Tries Four Dissidents
Four members of a grassroots movement campaigning to root out corrupt Chinese officials have gone on trial, a day after the group's founder was sentenced to prison.
The four members of the New Citizen's Movement appeared in a Beijing court Monday, charged with "gathering crowds to disrupt order."
A U.S. embassy official in Beijing (Daniel Delk) called on the Chinese government to release the activists immediately, and "remove restrictions" on freedoms "to which they are entitled under China's international human rights commitments."
The group's founder, prominent legal scholar and rights activist Xu Zhiyong, was sentenced to four years in prison Sunday, convicted of the same charge.
Xu, a 40-year-old legal scholar, founded the grassroots New Citizens Movement. The group supports democracy and the rule of law, and has the stated goal of cracking down on corrupt officials.
司法部长奥莱娜·卢卡什(Olena Lukash)周一在电视上露面时还警告说，如果这座建筑不被归还政府，她会要求终止反对派和总统维克托·亚努科维奇（Viktor Yanukovych）之间的会谈。
Ukraine Justice Minister Threatens State of Emergency
Ukraine's justice minister has threatened to declare a state of emergency if protesters do not leave the justice ministry in Kyiv, which they seized late Sunday.
In a television appearance Monday, Justice Minister Olena Lukash also warned that she would ask for talks between the opposition and President Viktor Yanukovych to be ended if the building is not returned to the government.
Opposition leaders have said Mr. Yanukovych's offer to name protest leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland Party as prime minister, and former boxing champion and leader of the UDAR party, Vitaly Klitschko, his deputy is not enough to end the demonstrations, which are spreading eastward into parts of Ukraine considered supporters of the president.
Yatsenyuk told a crowd that the opposition is "not afraid" of accepting more political responsibility. But he said Mr. Yanukovych still has to meet several demands. They include early elections, freedom for jailed protesters, and repealing anti-protest laws.