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China Jails Four Internet Activists for Subversion

A Chinese court has jailed four Internet activists for up to 10 years on subversion charges after 20 months in legal limbo, a human rights group said on Thursday. The Beijing Intermediate People’s Court sentenced geologist Jin Haike, 27, and Xu Wei, 28, a journalist for Beijing’s Consumer Daily, to 10 years in prison each on Wednesday, the New York-based advocacy group Human Rights in China said. Yang Zili, a 31-year-old computer engineer, and Zhang Honghai, a 29-year-old freelance writer, got eight years each. The court declined to comment. China has jailed a number of Internet writers in recent years as part of a crackdown on dissent on the Web. The government has created a special Internet police force, filtered foreign sites and shut down others posting politically incorrect fare. The four men were accused of posting essays critical of the government on the Internet and setting up the New Youth Society, a discussion group dedicated to exploring democracy and social reform. One essay was titled “China’s democracy is fake.” Full Story

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