China dog owner sues Web censors
Dec 26,2007 00:00 by UPI
BEIJING -- A Beijing dog owner, unwilling to take lying down a ban on him from using the Web to write on city dog rules, has reportedly taken the issue to court.

An irate Chen Yuhua filed the lawsuit last month after he got no reply to his letters to Beijing mayor and the city council, The Washington Post reported. Recently Chen was told the district court had decided to reject the case but he may appeal.

Chen's Internet posting reportedly said Beijing municipality's rules of barring any dog more than 14 inches high and restricting each family to one dog are unreasonable and arbitrary.

"I was very careful to follow the correct procedure," Chen, a retired commerce ministry official and a U.N. accountant, told the Post.

His action may be unusual but bold considering it challenges the authority of the powerful Communist Party to decide how its people should use the Web.

The Post report said Chen's action may also indicate China's educated elite is growing impatient with the party's authoritarian system.

At the same time, the report said the government doesn't take kindly to criticism of its policies or to nonconformist political views. It noted that some estimates say there are more 30,000 censors to monitor the Internet.

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