Hong Kong activist Yang Kuang jailed for eight months in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 4:48am

Rights activist and Diaoyu Islands campaigner Yang Kuang has been jailed for eight months on the mainland in what his family says is a politically motivated sentence.

Yang's wife, Liu Shasha, yesterday said he was jailed in Shenzhen last month for illegal entry into the mainland. Two mainland lawyers helping him have filed an appeal to the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court.

Yang, 47, had been detained since December 30 for sneaking across the border to the mainland to see his parents and wife on three occasions after his home-return permit was revoked in March last year.

Yang made headlines in 2012 for captaining the boat that evaded Japanese coastguards to land a party of activists on the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which Japan calls the Senkaku Islands.

His home-return permit was revoked after he tried to visit Liu Xia , wife of jailed Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo , who has been under house arrest since 2010.

At the People's Court in Nanshan district in April, Yang denied a charge of crossing the border without a legal permit. He could have been jailed for up to a year. Liu Shasha said the sentence was heavier than expected.

Yang told Liu his being barred from entering the mainland was an exploitation of his rights.

His wife said the sentence might have been politically driven to stop him from taking part in Hong Kong's Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign.

"This is definitely unreasonable ... Yang's parents are on the mainland. To ban him from seeing them is violating his human rights," Liu said.

She added that she was not allowed to visit Yang and that the chance of her husband winning his appeal was slim.