China Jails 3 Online Activists; Many Show Support

Three have been sentenced to prison in Fujian for spreading information relating to the death of a woman whose mother believed she was gang-raped. Hundreds of supporters showed up at the court. From AP:

The court in southern Fuzhou city found the Internet activists guilty of slander, sentencing to jail self-taught legal expert Fan Yanqiong for two years. Two others, You Jingyou and Wu Huaying, were each handed one-year sentences, said You’s attorney Liu Xiaoyuan, in a phone interview. The court did not name individuals allegedly slandered by the three, saying instead that this was a matter that seriously affected the interest of the state.

The three defendants posted information and videos online in a bid to help Lin Xiuying, a woman who believed her daughter died after being gang-raped two years ago by a group of thugs with links to the police in Fujian province’s Mingqin county. Police had ruled that the 25-year-old woman died from an abnormal pregnancy.

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

See also a report from BBC. Follow Chinese tweets on the case here. Read more about this case via CDT.

April 16, 2010, 4:01 AM
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