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Chinese reporter sentenced to prison for extortion

[JURIST] A Chinese court Thursday sentenced Yang Xiaoging, a reporter for the state-run China Industrial Economy News [media website; People's Daily backgrounder], to one year in prison after finding him guilty of extortion. Xiaoging wrote articles about official corruption, accusing local Communist Party official Yang Jianxin of stealing state assets. Xiaoging's wife, Gong Jie, plans to appeal the ruling immediately, accusing Jianxin of framing Xiaoging, an allegation Jianxin denies. AP has more.

Chinese reporters for state and international media have run into a range of legal problems recently which has brought them before the courts on various counts. Last week, the Chinese government postponed the trial [JURIST report] of former New York Times researcher Zhao Yan [HRIC profile, PDF], who was indicted for "providing state secrets to foreigners" following a 2004 New York Times report [text] that revealed the resignation of Jiang Zemin as head of the military before it was formally announced. In May, a Chinese court sentenced Internet journalist Yang Tianshui, a member of China's chapter of International PEN [advocacy website], to 12 years in prison [JURIST report] 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."

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