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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China Earthquake Activist Huang Qi Sentenced for 3 Years

Posted by Author on February 8, 2010

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, February 8, 2010) – CHRD learned today that Chengdu City Intermediate Court rejected the appeal of human rights activist and director of Tianwang Human Rights Center (www.64tianwang.com), Huang Qi (黄琦). Huang was convicted of “illegal possession of state secrets” and sentenced to three years in prison on November 23, 2009.

According to one source at the Chengdu City Detention Center, where Huang was held, a judge from the Chengdu City Intermediate Court announced the decision to Huang at the Detention Center this morning. Huang was not given an oral appeal hearing before the decision was made. Huang’s wife and his lawyer have not yet been formally notified of the decision.

“The Chengdu Court has denied us access to the relevant files and information. Obviously, they want to make it difficult for us to defend [Huang effectively],” one of Huang’s lawyers told CHRD earlier. The lawyer also said they were not optimistic about a public appeal hearing.

Reportedly, Huang has just been transferred from the Detention Center to a midway house for the newly convicted before they are sent to prisons.

Huang is from Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. In 1998, Huang established the first website in China that disseminated news about people who had been trafficked and disappeared. The website evolved to report on issues of injustice and complaints against the government (www.64tianwang.com). In May 2003, Huang was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to five years in prison and one year of political rights deprivation. After his early release on June 4, 2005, he continued his human rights work.

However, Huang disappeared on June 10, 2008. It was later discovered that he had been detained by the police. A few days before his detention, Huang met with some of the families who wanted to file lawsuits against officials allegedly responsible for the shoddy school buildings that killed the children in the Sichuan earthquake.

During Huang’s detention, he was barred from accessing his lawyers for over three months after he was first taken into custody. Huang’s family has not been allowed to visit the activist despite repeated requests.

CHRD reiterates its call for Huang’s immediate and unconditional release. CHRD believes that Huang is jailed for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and to defending human rights.

Chinese Human Rights Defenders

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