A Xinjiang court struck down an appeal on Monday over the 19-year sentence of writer and activist Zhang Haitao.
Zhang was sentenced in January to 15 years for “inciting subversion of state power” and a shorter sentence for “providing intelligence to those outside borders.” He filed an appeal in February, which was delayed multiple times.
His sentence was “extraordinarily harsh,” Frances Eve, a researcher at China Human Rights Defenders, told HKFP previously, noting that cases involving Uyghurs or ethnic minority issues in the Xinjiang tend to result in tougher sentences.
Originally from Henan, Zhang is Han Chinese but lives in an area of Xinjiang which is home to the predominantly Muslim Uighur people, who face repression and restrictions on their religious practices. Chinese authorities are concerned about violent unrest in the region and has launched a crackdown on separatist “terrorists” it says are behind the violence.
Zhang’s lawyers received a notice earlier in November from the appeals court in Urumqi, saying that the appeal will be …