Ten years in a Chinese gulag- for sending an e-mail!

Amnesty International is working to free Chinese journalist Shi Tao — a “prisoner of conscience” who is serving a 10-year sentence for simply sending an e-mail. In April 2004, Shi Tao — who wrote for Contemporary Trade News — sent an e-mail to a U.S.-based pro-democracy Web site. It summarized a Chinese government order directing news organizations to downplay the 15th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Eight months later, he was arrested and charged with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities.” Authorities used e-mail account holder information supplied by Yahoo! to convict him, and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, according to a release from Amnesty International. He is now laboring in harsh conditions and has inadequate access to medical care. Amnesty International is raising concerns with Yahoo! about their aiding human rights abuses in China, and calling on supporters to join the organization in demanding Shi’s unconditional release.


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