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Amnesty International: China imprisons 54 for Intenet use
The Epoch Times
2/13/2004



London-based Amnesty International (AI) reported on Wednesday that in 2003, 54 people were detained in China for expressing their views or downloading information from websites banned by Chinese authorities. This is a 60 percent increase from the 33 people arrested in 2002.

The dramatic increase has been linked to the Chinese people’s criticism of their government for covering up last year’s SARS outbreak. In addition, many people have been arrested for posting articles in support of Falun Gong or freeing those who were sentenced after the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre, according to Radio Free Asia.
AI says these people were arrested under unreasonable and unlawful pretenses. AI says the Chinese government should quickly release those imprisoned unconditionally.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet made any response regarding AI’s statement.

China has become the second largest Internet user in the world and its goverment has been strictly controlling Internet access. There are about 30,000 computer police monitoring all activities on the Internet and filtering out sensitive websites everyday. Those who are found posting articles or passing on information that criticizes the government are often charged with “subverting state power,” “leaking state secrets,” or “endangering national security.”

AI welcomed the release of Liu Di, a student from the Beijing Normal University known among Internet users as the “stainless steel mouse.” He was arrested last year for criticizing the political system in China. However, AI pointed out that Liu should not have been arrested in the first place. At the same time, the release of Liu does not mean that China has stopped suppressing people who put their different views on the Internet. Three Internet users, Ouyang Yi from Sichuan, Jiang Lijun from Beijing and Yan Jun from Shanxi, were recently sentenced in China for “subverting state power.”


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