Freedom Advocates From China Sue Yahoo

China sentenced Wang Xiaoning to ten years in prison last year for “incitement to subvert state power” …. for a blog that advocated open democratic choice of leaders. His family has now filed suit in US District Court against Yahoo and their Chinese affiliates, alleging that they provided the information that allowed the government to convict him based on his internet site. They specifically charge that Yahoo helped the Chinese government identify the anonymous blogger.

More from Reuters:

 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A Chinese couple sued Yahoo and its Chinese affiliates on Wednesday, alleging the Internet firms provided information that helped the Chinese government prosecute the man for his Internet writings.

Wang Xiaoning was sentenced to ten years in prison last year for “incitement to subvert state power” after he e-mailed electronic journals advocating democratic reform and a multi-party system.

His house and computer were searched in 2002.

In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for Northern California, Wang and his wife Yu Ling charged the Internet firms turned over details to prosecutors that helped identify him to authorities.

“While in custody, Plaintiffs were subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including arbitrary, prolonged and indefinite detention, for expressing their free speech rights and for using the Internet to communicate about democracy and human rights matters,” the filing said.

The suit, advanced by the World Organization for Human Rights USA, based in Washington D.C., said Yahoo benefited financially by working with authorities. China is the world’s second largest Internet market.

More from last year and the evidence that will likely be brought forth on this from

Among the evidence against Wang cited in the judgment is information provided by Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. stating that Wang’s “aaabbbccc“ Yahoo! Group was set up using the mainland China-based email address Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. also confirmed that the email address, through which Wang sent messages to the Group, was a mainland China-based account. The judgment does not indicate whether Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. or Yahoo! China (which is now operated by mainland-based provided specific information regarding Wang’s identity. The judgment also notes that in 2001, administrators of Wang’s mainland China-based Yahoo! Group noticed the political content of Wang’s writings and did not allow him to continue distribution through the Group. He then began distributing his journal by email to individual email addresses

More at Google Blogoscoped.

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