28 April 2006
Still no reaction from Yahoo! after fourth case of collaboration with police uncovered
(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders called on Yahoo! to withdraw its Internet servers from China as a fourth case was revealed of the company's collaboration with Chinese police that led to the jailing of a cyber-dissident.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) has said that the verdict in the case of Wang Xiaoning, 55, sentenced to ten years in prison in September 2003 for posting "subversive" articles online, referred to collaboration by the US Internet company.
"Chinese journalists and dissidents used to trust Yahoo! more than local companies, to protect the confidentiality of their electronic communications," Reporters Without Borders said.
"This company has betrayed them by shamefully collaborating with the police. It has said that it is 'distressed' by the situation, but the time for lamentation is past. We expect Yahoo! executives, particularly Jerry Yang, to announce that they will withdraw their email servers from China."
Wang was arrested on 1st September 2002 and sentenced on 12 September 2003, to 10 years in prison and two years deprivation of civil rights for "incitement to subversion".
The HRIC said that he had reportedly been maltreated in detention between September 2002 and February 2004 and was believed held in solitary confinement at the No. 2 municipal prison in Beijing.
The press freedom organisation said it was dismayed by the absence of any reaction from Yahoo! executives.
Wang was charged with posting pro-democracy articles in electronic newsletters sent by email between 2000 and 2002. According to the HRIC, several articles were referred to in the verdict, one of which was headlined, "Never forget that China is still a dictatorship."
The text shows that information provided by the Hong Kong branch of Yahoo! helped establish a link between Wang Xiaoning and messages carried by a discussion forum. It said that the moderators of the discussion forum, hosted by Yahoo!, had decided to ban the cyber-dissident from using the forum.