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Observers: Tianjin Trials of Activists Reminiscent of Soviet Purges

China put four human rights defenders on trial last week, each of whom received a prison sentence of three to seven and a half years for state subversion.   But human rights groups and observers say the latest wave of what they call “sham trials” against legal advocates, arrested amid an orchestrated crackdown last July, is mostly a political charade, and to some extent, bears a resemblance to the notorious Moscow Purge trials in the late 1930’s.  More importantly, some...

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