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China sentenced Internet journalist to four years
The Epoch Times

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Chinese Internet journalist and Epoch Times essayist Du Daobin was sentenced to four years of house arrest by a court in Hubei, Province, China, today. He was arrested on October 28, 2003, for publishing articles on the Internet advocating democracy and respect for human rights.

Du was originally sentenced to three years in prison, which the courts commuted to four yearsí house arrest in an effort to stifle human rights advocates from around the globe who have been condemning Duís arrest.

Du was originally arrested near his home in Xiaogan , Hubei Province on October 28, 2003. His apartment was searched, his personal belongings seized, and police warned his wife and 12-year-old son to have no contact with foreign journalists.

The Xiaogan Prosecutorís Office found insufficient evidence of crimininal behavior to file formal charges, but refused to release Du. Du was eventually charged in February of 2004 after four months in custody. He was charged with "inciting subversion of the state" for his advocating freedom of expression and human rights, and for calling for the release of another Internet essayist, Liu Di, who was imprisoned for posting articles on online forums calling for democracy in China. She was released on November 28, 2003 after more than a year of imprisonment without trial.

Duís lawyer, Mo Shaoping, was not allowed to defend Du at his trial. Duís court-appointed lawyer, Li Zongyi., refused to enter a not-guilty plea despite Duís demands. Therefore, Du is on record as having confessed.

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontiers, RSF ) issued a statement saying the verdict ďallows Du to leave prison but it puts him under such a degree of police surveillance that his freedom is illusory. This sentence aims both to silence a human rights activist and at the same time appease those in China and abroad who criticised his imprisonment."

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