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November 23, 2009 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Three-year jail term for human rights website editor


Reporters Without Borders deplores the three-year jail sentence that human rights activist and blogger Huang Qi was given at the end of a 15-minute hearing yesterday in Chengdu. “There is still time for the judicial authorities to reach a just decision on appeal,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We again urge the judges to act humanely as this resolute activist’s health is now very precarious.” Huang’s wife, Zeng Li, and his mother, who were the only people allowed to attend yesterday’s hearing, challenged the verdict and sentence as soon as they were announced. Huang was quickly escorted out of the courtroom by police officers but he had time to shout that he wanted to appeal. He was then driven away in a police van without being allowed to speak to his family. Zeng requested a copy of the court’s verdict but was refused on the grounds that Huang himself would submit his own appeal. Under Chinese law, his lawyer should be given a copy of the verdict within five days. Huang has 10 days to file an appeal. ------- A court in Chengdu, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, is due to issue its verdict in the trial of leading human rights activist and website editor Huang Qi on Monday, 23 November. “We urge the judges to display humanity by freeing a seriously ill man who has already spent more than six and a half years of his life in prison,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We also hope the court will remember that all this courageous human rights activist did was provide information about the Sichuan earthquake victims, which cannot be considered a crime. If Huang were given another long prison sentence, we fear it could be fatal.” Huang’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, has confirmed that the Wuhou district court in Chengdu is about to issue its verdict in the trial that began with a closed-door hearing on 5 August. Arrested in June 2008 after giving interview to foreign news media about the fate of the victims of the previous month’s earthquake in Sichuan, Huang was charged with “illegal possession of state secrets.” The founder and editor of the Tianwang human rights website, Huang has been held in very harsh conditions since his arrest although he has been suffering from very bad headaches. More information about Huang Qi: http://www.rsf.org/Huang-Qi-did-what-any-Chinese.html
http://www.rsf.org/Cyber-dissident-Huang-Qi-kidnapped.html