SAN FRANCISCO (July 30, 2007) – Documents in another of four known cases involving Yahoo! and the imprisonment of Chinese dissidents show conclusively that information provided by the company’s Beijing office was being used as part of Chinese police investigations into political crimes.
In this case, emails from Wang Xiaoning (PDF) supplied to police by Yahoo! were used as evidence that he disseminated writings opposed to the Chinese government and its policies. A Beijing court subsequently found Wang guilty of “inciting subversion” and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment.
On April 23, 2002, agents of the Beijing State Security Bureau approached Yahoo!’s Beijing office with a notice (PDF) requesting information about a Yahoo! Groups account as well as registration and login information for two Yahoo! email addresses. In a subsequent request for information on August 14, 2002, police sought registration information, login information, and email messages for another Yahoo! email account, all of which appear to have been provided on that same day by Yahoo!’s Beijing office. Both of the police notices clearly state “suspected inciting subversion” as the cause of the investigation.
On September 1, 2002, Wang Xiaoning (王小宁) was taken into custody by police in Beijing on suspicion of “inciting subversion.” He was charged with using an online newsletter to attack the government and advocate multi-party elections, and he was alleged to have used his Yahoo! accounts to disseminate the political writings of his “Chinese Third Way Party” to hundreds of recipients. Sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment by the Beijing Number One Intermediate People’s Court on September 12, 2003, Wang is due for release from Beijing Number Two Prison on August 31, 2012.
These documents follow Dui Hua’s July 25 report on a police document (PDF) in the case of Shi Tao (师涛)revealing that Yahoo!’s representative office in Beijing had information that investigators were pursuing a case involving a leak of state secrets. User account information provided to police in response to that document was later used to convict Shi on state secrets charges and sentence him to ten years’ imprisonment. Previously released court documents have also shown that Yahoo! user account information was provided by the company in the course of police investigations into the subversion cases of Jiang Lijun (姜立军) (sentenced to four years’ imprisonment in November 2003) and Li Zhi (李智) (sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in December 2003).
The Dui Hua Foundation
San Francisco, California
July 30, 2007