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China 24 September 2008

Detained cyber-dissident Huang Qi finally allowed to see his lawyer

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about detained cyber-dissident Huang Qi, who was able to see his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, yesterday for the first time since his arrest on 10 June in Chengdu, in the western province of Sichuan. Until yesterday, the authorities had refused to allow any visit by his lawyer.

“His mental and physical health do not seem to have suffered a great deal,” Mo told Reporters Without Borders today. “But he has been interrogated relentlessly since his arrest. The police question him 24 hours a day about the photos and articles he posted after the earthquake in Sichuan.”

Huang was arrested for posting articles on his website, 64Tianwang (http://www.64tianwang.com), criticising certain aspects of the handling of emergency aid after the 12 May earthquake in Sichuan. He did not however write the two articles whose publication most irked the government.

“We condemn the way Huang is being persecuted,” Reporters Without Borders said. “What are the authorities trying to achieve? Huang already suffers serious after-effects from the five years that he previously spent in prison. We reiterate our call for his release.”

Mo told Reporters Without Borders that the authorities are doing everything possible to prevent him getting information about the legal proceedings under way against Huang. “So far I have only obtained a copy of the charge of illegal possession of state secrets,” he said.

According to Chinese law, Huang’s family cannot see him before his trial, the date of which has not yet been announced.

Huang’s wife, Zeng Li, speaks about his arrest: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=28495

Read more about Huang: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=27892




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