BBC journalist Martin Patience lived up to his name today. While covering the trial of Chinese activist Xu Zhiyong in Beijing, Patience was harassed by police officers and plainclothes thugs. But he kept his cool and continued with his live shot.
Watch the video here.
The irony, of course, it that street-side tussles only called attention to what was happening indoors. A well-known legal scholar who campaigns for government transparency, Xu is charged with “gathering crowds to disrupt public order” and will very likely face jail time. In court today, he stayed silent to protest proceedings he likened to “a piece of theater.”
Late last year, some of Xu’s supporters, including a trio of activists detained for taking a picture of themselves holding a sign that asked China’s top leaders to disclose their wealth, were put on trial. (There’s been no verdict.) Since April of 2013, more than a dozen people associated with Xu’s New Citizens Movement have been detained.
The courtroom drama comes on the same day the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a report linking China’s top rulers to offshore tax heavens. More on that here.