Liu Yao imprisoned for inciting protest A Shenzhen lawyer has been jailed for four years by a court in Heyuan , Guangdong province, for inciting a village protest against a Shenzhen developer over land disputes, which led to huge losses for the developer, mainland media has reported. The Dongyuan County People's Court jailed high-profile Shenzhen rights lawyer Liu Yao for igniting two protests in Bainitang village in December against a private developer with local government approval to build a hydroelectric power station in the village, the Southern Metropolis News reported yesterday. According to the report, the Shenzhen Lawyers Association filed an immediate request with the Heyuan Intermediate People's Court to review the case. The association also sent a team to Heyuan to investigate the issue and said Liu was representing himself in the case. The villagers asked Liu in 2006 to take the developer to court for what they said was low compensation for occupying a large amount of land in the community. According to the report, the Dongyuan court found that the developer had signed a legal agreement with the Dongyuan government to build the hydropower station. The court said there had been no abuse of land rights between the villagers and the developer because the company had paid proper compensation. Liu and village representatives twice went to negotiate with the developers in December, and villagers damaged power-station property. The court said Liu had illegally gathered dozens of villagers to disturb the construction programme, inflicting property losses of about 50,000 yuan (HK$57,140). Another villager was ordered to serve 10 months behind bars, and Liu's driver was jailed for nine months. In his appeal to the Heyuan court, Liu said there was no evidence to support his conviction. According to the appeal documents, police photographs submitted as evidence of the property damage were undated, and there were no witnesses to support them. Liu said the photographs were not taken at the original site of the conflicts and he was being framed by police. Shenzhen lawyer Liu Fang said many of his colleagues were depressed and worried by the results of the case. 'We are taking great risks when we defend this kind of social injustice, especially those involved in interests entangled between companies and local authorities,' he said.