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Chinese journalist sentenced to 12 years for subverting state power

[JURIST] Chinese Internet journalist Yang Tianshui, a member of China's chapter of International PEN [advocacy website], was sentenced to twelve years in prison on Tuesday on charges that he attempted to "subvert state power" by posting essays on the Internet in favor of a movement entitled the "Velvet Action of China," according to his lawyer. Yang's trial [JURIST report] was closed and his lawyer claimed he could not discuss the evidence presented against him because it was deemed secret by the government. Yang's lawyer also expressed his belief that the harsh sentence is connected to Yang's previous ten-year prison term for subversion charges for speaking out against the suppression of the Tiananman Square protests [Wikipedia backgrounder] in 1989.

Yang's sentence comes as part of the Chinese government's continued practice of "Internet management" [Knight Ridder report] to crackdown on the Internet and press as a result of increasing social unrest throughout the nation. Last month, Li Jianping went on trial [JURIST report], facing charges of up to 15 years for "incitement to subvert state power" for allegedly posting pro-democracy articles on the Internet. In March, secondary school teacher Ren Zhiyuan was found guilty [JURIST report] of subversion and received a 10-year prison sentence for posting political essays on the Internet. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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