Net Produces New Generation of China Activists

Three bloggers were put on trial yesterday for posting allegedly false accusations about the death of Yan Xiaoling, which her mother, Lin Xiuling, believes was the result of rape while local officials claim she died from an ectopic pregnancy. ABC News reports:

Lin, 50, was sobbing outside a government office last summer when she met self-taught legal expert Fan Yanqiong. Fan took down the details of the case from Lin and then posted them online. Two others, You Jingyou and Wu Huaying, spoke to the mother and posted their video interview online.

On Friday, the three were in court awaiting a verdict on charges of making false accusations, which carries a sentence of up to three years in jail.

It is the latest example of Chinese Internet users being targeted for their budding grass-roots activism — ordinary people spreading the word about grievances from every corner of the country with postings on Twitter, microblogs and other Web sites.

“Netizens are using the Internet to talk about injustice,” said Liu Xiaoyuan, You’s lawyer. “But local officials just use their public power to suppress them.”

Dozens of bloggers showed up outside Mawei Distrist People’s Court on Friday in Fuzhou city where the verdict was to be announced, tweeting constantly and posting photos from the scene online. They reportedly were met by more than 100 uniformed and plainclothes police. The case was indefinitely postponed.

Chinese netizens have tweeted and posted pictures from outside the courthouse. All Tweets are here:


March 19, 2010 2:53 AM
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