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China should not punish political expression: Yahoo!

[JURIST] Yahoo! Inc. [corporate website] condemned the persecution of individuals for political expression in China Monday, saying it has informed the Chinese government of its position but reiterating that Yahoo! must comply with Chinese law if it is to do business in China. Yahoo! is currently facing legal challenges alleging it aided and abetted human rights violations [JURIST report] committed by the Chinese government by providing Chinese officials with information, including e-mail records and user ID numbers, that helped them to identify pro-democracy activists.

The suits, filed by the World Organization for Human Rights USA [advocacy website] on behalf of imprisoned internet activists Wang Xiaoning [Wikipedia profile], Wang's wife Yu Ling, and journalist Shi Tao [Wikipedia profile] in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, rely on the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute [texts]. A 2006 Amnesty International report criticized [JURIST report] Yahoo! and other Internet companies for so-called "Internet oppression," alleging that they have been complicit in efforts by the Chinese government to silence government critics in violation of stated corporate policies. Amnesty urged the companies to petition the Chinese government for the release of "cyber-dissidents." AP has more.

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