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Court docs show Yahoo's partcipation in conviction

Reporters Without Borders says it has documentation that shows Yahoo materially assisted with the prosecution of Li Zhi.

Yahoo's participation is the prosecution of Li Zhi is now documented, says Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders said it had obtained a copy of the court verdict (click here for PDF in Chinese) against Li Zhi (below), a former official jailed for eight years in December 2003, confirming that US firm Yahoo! collaborated with the prosecution, as did local competitor, Sina.

"The Li Zhi verdict shows that all Internet sector companies are pulled in to help when the police investigate a political dissident," the press freedom organisation said.

"It is unacceptable that US firms should turn themselves into auxiliaries of a government that systematically tramples on the rights of Internet-users to freedom of expression," it said.

"Yahoo! should urgently withdraw its content and email servers from this country before further requests of this kind are made of it. The fact that it operates in China through a local partner, Alibaba, does not in any way absolve it of its ethical responsibilities," said the organisation.

The verdict showed that Yahoo! Hong Kong Ltd and Sina Beijing had supplied information confirming that Li Zhi had set up an email account using their services. It did not however say if the content of messages he sent or received had been handed over to the courts.