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Appendix VI: Details of Wang Xiaoning’s case

Beijing resident Wang Xiaoning (王小宁) was taken into custody by state security police on September 1, 2002, on suspicion of “inciting subversion.” Wang was charged with editing an online journal entitled “Free Forum for Political Reform” and using it to attack the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and advocate a multiparty political system, separation of powers, and general elections. He is also alleged to have used a false name to register Yahoo! email accounts and a Yahoo! Groups account, which he used to disseminate his political writings to hundreds of email addresses. Wang also used email to communicate with the leader of an overseas dissident political party, with whom he discussed the establishment of a new political party named the “Chinese Third Way Party.”

Among the evidence presented by the prosecution at Wang’s trial were account verification statements provided in the name of Yahoo! (Hong Kong) Holdings Ltd. This is the first known case in which information about a defendant in a political case was provided to Chinese authorities by a Yahoo! subsidiary. State security police also collected numerous instances of Wang’s writings that had been posted on websites both in China and overseas.

Wang and his defense attorneys did not dispute the facts as charged by the prosecution, but they did maintain that Wang’s actions did not constitute the crime of inciting subversion. On September 12, 2003, Wang was sentenced by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court to 10 years in prison with subsequent deprivation of political rights for two years. He is due to be released from prison on August 31, 2012.


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