Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomats not allowed to attend trial in China

Diplomats from several countries including the United States said on Thursday they were prevented from attending the subversion trial of rights activist and lawyer Guo Feixiong in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. “Today, U.S. diplomats were blocked from attending the court proceedings of Guo Feixiong, a lawyer who is facing trial in Guangzhou for his peaceful advocacy,” the U.S. Embassy in China said via its Twitter account on Thursday. “We continue to call for Mr. Guo’s speedy release so he may be reunited with his family.” (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/diplomats-turned-away-trial-prominent-activist-china-2023-05-11/) Diplomats from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands and Britain were also turned away and told by a court clerk that foreign visitors would need prior approval from higher authorities, four of the diplomats told Reuters, requesting anonymity. The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court and China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Guo, 58, has gained international attention for his campaigns on issues including corruption and censorship and his allegations of mistreatment by Chinese authorities during more than a decade spent behind bars on previous charges. His latest detention in 2022 came a year after he was stopped from leaving the country to visit his dying wife in the U.S., sparking further outcry.

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