A human rights group says Chinese authorities have sentenced a 65-year-old man to six years in prison for trying to establish an opposition party in China.
China Human Rights Defenders said Thursday that Wang Rongqing was sentenced Wednesday by a court in Hangzhou (Intermediate People's Court), on charges of subverting state power.
His brother and lawyer confirmed the ruling. The group says Wang was charged because he continued to actively participate, organize and develop the China Democracy Party after it was declared an enemy organization by the Ministry of Public Security.
The group says Wang edited a publication named "The Opposition Party" and published many articles about the party. The group says Wang is a veteran activist who has been repeatedly harassed and detained by police.
China allows only a small number of opposition parties to exist, but they serve more as advisers than competitors to the Communist Party.
Also Thursday, Chinese Human Rights Defenders said more than 100 signers of a Chinese petition calling for democracy and an end to the dominance of the Communist Party have been harassed or summoned for questioning by police.
The group said the signers of Charter 2008 (or 08 Charter in Chinese) were targeted by police because of their support for the document that was released last month.
The document was published on the Internet on December 10th, as the world marked International Human Rights Day.