China activist who called for human rights ahead of the Olympics imprisoned

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BEIJING - A court official says a Chinese activist who called for human rights ahead of the Olympics has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Yang Chunlin was charged with subverting the power of the state, a charge authorities in China commonly use the charge to clamp down on dissent.
Yang had gathered more than 10,000 signatures for an open letter titled "We want human rights, not the Olympics."
He was detained in July in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and formally arrested a month later.
Clerk Nie Lei in the Jiamusi City Intermediate People's Court said the decision was handed down today and Yang is free to appeal.
Yang's trial comes as China's leaders clamp down on dissent in advance of the Beijing Olympics in August.

Organizations: Beijing Olympics, Jiamusi City Intermediate People

Geographic location: China, BEIJING, Heilongjiang

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