Apr 19,2007 00:00
SAN FRANCISCO - A U.S. federal lawsuit filed in San Francisco against Yahoo! has accused the Internet company of abetting torture of pro-democracy writers in China.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court accused Yahoo! of being complicit in the arrests of 57-year-old Wang Xiaoning and other Chinese Internet activists, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Yahoo! was accused of releasing data that enabled the Chinese government to identify the activists.
The petition, part of an effort to focus on the conduct of U.S. companies in China as they seek to gain a foothold in that market, named Wang as a plaintiff, the report said. It was filed with the help of the World Organization for Human Rights USA, whose head claimed Yahoo! had reason to know that if it provided China with identification information the individuals would be arrested.
Wang was sentenced in 2003 to 10 years in prison after being convicted of charges of inciting subversion with online treatises criticizing the government. His wife said he is kept in a labor camp where he has been subjected to beatings, the Post reported.
A Yahoo! spokesman in Sunnyvale, Calif., declined comment on the lawsuit but said his company condemns suppression of speech. Other U.S. companies also have been accused of making compromises to do business in China.
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