Although Pu’s trial was technically open to observers who applied beforehand to see it, diplomats from the US, the UK, the European Union and other countries were turned away, and told the courtroom was “full,” Phillips reported.  A map of the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court shows the Sixth Courtroom, where Pu’s trial was held, is relatively small, despite the international interest in the case.

Once a student activist in the pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests, Pu, 50, is best known for advocating for the abolition of China’s “reeducation through labor” system by representing detainees in high-profile cases. He also represented dissident artist Ai Weiwei when his company sued Beijing tax authorities in 2012. Pu was selected as the “Person of the Year in Legal Affairs in 2013” by Renwu Magazine, which is published by state-owned People’s Daily Press.

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