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China jails eviction whistleblower

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China jails eviction whistleblower

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:58 am

China sentences cyber-dissident to four years in jail: lawyer

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gRK ... emyCO5HOTA

February 5, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) ­ China on Tuesday sentenced writer and cyber-dissident Lu Gengsong to four years in jail for "inciting subversion of state power," his lawyer said.

The Intermediate People's Court in the east Chinese city of Huangzhou announced the verdict over Lu, a prolific writer on corruption, Tuesday morning, his lawyer Mo Shaoping told AFP by telephone.

"We decided beforehand that if he was sentenced we would appeal, so that's definitely what we'll do," Mo said.

The former lecturer's wife, daughter and two friends were present when the verdict was read at the end of a 15-minute court session, rights group Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a statement.

Police barred other supporters and friends from attending the verdict by either putting them under house arrest or preventing them from entering the courtroom, the group said.

Lu, a 51-year-old freelance writer who was formally arrested in September, has published extensively on graft, including the book "Corrupted Officials in China," which appeared in Hong Kong in 2000.

He is also known for disclosing a large number of illegal eviction cases, supporters said.

Evictions have emerged as one of the main social issues in China, as developers and home owners battle it out over increasingly scarce land resources.

Lu's arrest was seen by rights groups as part of a major crackdown on dissent amid growing social unrest despite China's pledge to ease curbs on media and individual freedoms ahead of the Olympics.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a report last August that at least 30 journalists and 50 cyber-dissidents were being detained in China for work that angered Chinese authorities.

Also on Tuesday veteran Hong Kong reporter Ching Cheong, jailed in China for espionage activities, was freed on parole and was on his way home, officials in Hong Kong and his newspaper said Tuesday.

Ching, chief China correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times, was arrested in April 2005 and later sentenced to five years in jail for allegedly spying for Taiwan.
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