Chinese cyber dissident sentenced to five years

China's pioneering cyber-dissident Huang Qi, one of the first to be arrested for expressing his political views on the Internet, has been sentenced to five years in prison for subversion, lawyers and a rights group said.

Huang was convicted on May 9 by an intermediate court in central China's Chongqing municipality in a trial that began in January 2001, his lawyer Fan Jun told AFP.

"As far as my own personal opinion is concerned there was not enough evidence in the trial to warrant a guilty verdict," Fan told AFP.

"The ruling also took too long; in accordance with the law a verdict should have been reached the year before last."

Huang was arrested in June 2000 and charged with subversion in January 2001.

He has been in prison since June 2000 when he was arrested for publishing political information on his website -- www.6-4tianwang.com.

The website originally listed information on people that had gone missing, but soon became a site that listed people who had disappeared into police custody, usually for their own political or religious beliefs.

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News source: Yahoo! News

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