International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) condemns a sentence of three years’ jail imposed against cyber
dissident Huang Qi today by the Court of Wuhou in China’s
46, the founder of the 64 Tianwang website (www.64tianwang.com),
was detained in June 2008 after posting an article online which criticised the Government’s
handling of the Sichuan earthquake disaster in May.
reports said the judge found Huang guilty of “illegal possession of state
secrets” on the basis that Huang had disclosed confidential information from
two municipal governments considered to be “state secrets”.
Zeng Li, Huang’s wife, told the IFJ that the information used by Huang regarding
regulations for managing the complaints departments of local and central
governments was publicly available on local government websites at the time the
article was written.
conviction of Huang for making use of information that was already in the
public realm is a gross miscarriage of justice,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
reportedly forcibly removed Zeng and Huang’s mother from the courtroom today after
they demanded an appeal.
elderly supporters attending the trial were reportedly assaulted today by
unidentified people outside the court. Others were blocked entry to watch the
said an appeal would be lodged and expressed concern about Huang’s health and
well-being. Huang’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, and Zeng have applied for medical
parole six times without success.
conviction marks a step away from China achieving the openness its
authorities have promised,” White said.
was detained in 2000 and formally charged in 2003 with “subversion” for critical
commentary about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He spent five years in
jail before being released on June 4, 2005.
2008, Huang helped victims of the Sichuan
earthquake gain access to humanitarian support and accepted foreign press
interviews, which upset the local government.
IFJ calls on China’s
courts to withdraw the case against Huang and free him immediately.
For further information
contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612
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