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China dissident goes on trial for pro-democracy Internet articles

[JURIST] Chinese dissident Li Jianping went on trial Wednesday in China's Shandong province, facing charges [indictment, in Chinese] of "incitement to subvert state power" for allegedly posting pro-democracy articles on the Internet. According to Human Rights in China [advocacy website], he was arrested [press release] in May 2005 for posting essays on the Internet promoting a greater democracy in China. Prosecutors also claim that Li attempted to recruit members to establish an organization called the Mainland Democratic Frontline. Several Chinese and international human rights groups have spoken out against the arrest and called for his release [RSF press release]. If convicted, Li could serve a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

This arrest 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, 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. AFP has more.

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