Chinese Pig Farmer Who Praised Lawyers During Crackdown on Trial

The chairman of Dawu Agriculture Group was arrested after trying to stop a state-owned enterprise from demolishing a company building.


Associated Press

via Manufacturing Business Technology - Jul 16th, 2021


BEIJING (AP) — A prominent Chinese pig farmer who was detained after praising lawyers during a crackdown on legal activists by President Xi Jinping’s government went on trial Thursday on charges including fighting with police and organizing a protest, defense lawyers said.


Sun Dawu, chairman of Dawu Agriculture Group, is among 20 defendants on trial in Gaobeidian, southwest of Beijing in Hebei province. They were detained after Dawu employees in August 2020 tried to stop a state-owned enterprise from demolishing a company building.


Sun said he is innocent, according to a written statement by defense lawyers. It said there were “great disputes” between them and prosecutors over evidence and the law but gave no details. It said the trial was due to resume Friday.


Phone calls to the court on Thursday weren't answered.


Sun became nationally known in 2003 when he was charged with “illegal fundraising” after soliciting investment for his business from friends and neighbors. The case prompted an outpouring of public support for Sun.


Since then, Sun has praised lawyers who help the public at a time when prominent legal figures have been imprisoned by Xi’s government. Sun’s lawyer in the 2003 case, Xu Zhiyong, disappeared in February 2020. Fellow activists say he was charged with treason.


In the latest case...