Friday, October 27, 2006

China jails Internet dissident for three years

A Chinese court on Wednesday jailed a dissident for three years for inciting subversion with an Internet essay praising pro-rights protests in Hong Kong, a human rights group said.

Li Jianping was sentenced in Zibo, in the eastern province of Shandong, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement on the latest example of China's crackdown on Internet dissent.

An assistant to Li's lawyer confirmed the sentence but could give no details. Li was tried in April.

A student participant in China's 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations, Li was found guilty of "inciting subversion of state power" for an essay published on overseas Chinese Web sites in 2003, the center said.

His essay praised protesters in Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, who fought the self-governed territory's "Article 23" security legislation that critics said threatened to curb political liberty there.

Li, about 40, took part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations for democratic change. His jailing adds to a lengthening list of Chinese citizens imprisoned for speaking out on the Internet.

China is the world's leading jailer of journalists, with at least 32 in custody and another 50 Internet campaigners also in prison, according to media freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders.

Last week, a Chinese court jailed dissident Guo Qizhen for four years for inciting subversion over antigovernment essays he posted on the Internet. Guo denounced the late Chairman Mao Zedong and called the country's government "evil" for its suppression of civil rights.

Last month, the outspoken Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was charged with inciting subversion, but authorities have not released the specific accusations against him.

Friday, December 16, 2005

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