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Cyber-dissident gets four years for "inciting government's overthrow"

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders said it was "appalled" by the four-year prison sentence which a court in the southeastern province of Zhejiang imposed on 16 August 2007 on cyber-dissident Chen Shuqing for posting articles critical of the government on the Internet.

"Courts taking their orders from the Communist Party continue to crack down on cyber-dissidents," the press freedom organisation said. "We reiterate our appeal for the release of Chen and the 50 other cyber-dissidents and Internet users held in China.

The intermediate people's court in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang, convicted Chen of "inciting the government's overthrow."

Chen's lawyer, Li Jianqiang, said Chen's conviction was "wrong" because "he was only expressing his political views and should enjoy free speech." The authorities recently refused to renew Li's licence to practice law in the nearby province of Shandong.

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