Document 11 of 11.
Copyright 1998 Deutsche Presse-Agentur
July 29, 1998, Wednesday,
03:15 Central European Time
SECTION: International News
LENGTH: 323 words
HEADLINE: China Internet user indicted on charges of subversion
In an unprecedented action, Chinese authorities have indicted the manager of a
computer software company in China's largest city of Shanghai on charges of
subversion for offering tens of thousands of mainland e-mail addresses to an
American firm, a Hong Kong-based
human rights group said on Wednesday.
Lin Hai, 30, a graduate of Beijing Aerospace University's computer department, was
taken away from his home by Public Security Bureau agents in March.
In April, Lin was formally arrested and charged with trying to overthrow
communist-led government for offering 30,000 e-mail addresses to a
pro-democratic Internet reference guide based in the United States, the
Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.
The Shanghai Municipal Procuratorate has already handed down the indictment on
Lin and he is expected to stand trial at the Shanghai Intermediate People's
Court in the near future.
Lin's wife told the centre that her husband had already engaged a lawyer to
plead his case.
It is the first time a
mainland Chinese user of the Internet has been charged with a political
offence. If convicted of subversion, he faces at least 10 years in prison. The
maximum penalty for such a crime is the death sentence.
"This kind of thing can only happen in a place like China," said
Frank Lu Siqing, founder and spokesman of the Hong Kong rights group.
China now has more than 1 million people using the Internet and maintains
strict control of e-mail accounts using various methods, he said.
Shanghai authorities employed 150 computer specialists to assist the Public
Security Bureau in its screening of the Internet soon after U.S. President Bill
Clinton concluded his nine-day visit to China earlier this month.
Police have already denied many people access to the Internet or have
confiscated their computers, the group said, without giving details. dpa mi wp
LOAD-DATE: July 29, 1998
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