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China Cracking Down On Online Dissidents

Rights groups outraged

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Chinese police have arrested a well-known online dissident for violating his terms of probation, as the country seeks to crackdown on critics in the run up to the Olympic Games.

Du Daobin, from the central province of Hebei, received a suspended sentence for what the Chinese government says was subversion in 2004 and was detained by police for posting online essays in support of another dissident.

Du was released into house arrest in 2004 and was arrested this week for allegedly violating the terms of his probation by posting more than 100 articles on overseas Web sites, leaving the city, and receiving guest without notifying authorities, Reporters Without Borders said.

"Du was living under a permanent threat," Reporters Without Borders said. "He could have been imprisoned at any time under the sentence he received more than four years ago. He is the third leading cyber-dissident to be imprisoned in the run-up to the Olympic Games, after Hu Jia and Huang Qi."

Chinese police arrested Huang for "possession of state secrets" for offering to help parents of children who died in the Sichuan earthquake in May.

Human Rights in China said the government was working under the banner a "peaceful Olympics" to suppress rights activists and other individuals speaking out against repression.

"The current state of affairs is intolerable," said Human Rights in China Executive Director Sharon Hom. "Under the banner of a ‘peaceful Olympics,’ authorities continue to employ contradictory and counterproductive security methods, which only serve to exacerbate the human rights crisis and provoke greater instability in China."

The Chinese government maintains that accusations of a pre-Olympic crackdown targeting dissidents are false.

The official Xinhua news agency quoted an unnamed Game’s spokesman as saying the Olympics were helping China’s human rights image, and defended security tactics.

"To ensure the hosting of a successful Olympic Games, and to ensure the safety of foreign athletes and visitors, China has indeed taken a series of necessary, legitimate and reasonable security measures," the spokesman said.

"It’s unnecessary to arrest so-called ‘dissidents’ for the sake of the Olympic Games. The accusation is untrue."

 

China Cracking Down On Online Dissidents
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     Google+Search&meta=”>Liu Jingmin, vice-president of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee said, in April 2001: “By allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help in the development of human rights.” 

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