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Amnesty: The Yahoo! Chinese Journalist Testimony

Amnesty International USA Statement on Yahoo! Testimony Before Congressional Committee Regarding the Company's Involvement in Case of Imprisoned Chinese Journalist

T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA's advocacy director for Asia, issued the following statement Tuesday in Washington, D.C., in response to the testimony in Congress by Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang on Yahoo's role in the 2004 imprisonment of Shi Tao, a Chinese dissident:

"A half-hearted apology is not enough from Mr. Yang. If he is truly sincere about his commitment to human rights, then Mr. Yang needs to tell Congress how Yahoo! is going to prevent future cases such as Shi Tao's from occurring. The Yahoo! executive missed an opportunity today by failing to offer a clear and specific statement of the company's intention to protect human rights in Internet freedom cases in the future. The harsh reality for Shi Tao and his family is a decade in prison, due to Yahoo's actions. Surely Mr. Yang cannot believe it is enough for him to express a 'personal commitment' to human rights now. He needs to tell us what he is going to do to win Shi Tao's release from a Chinese prison and to prevent the same thing from happening again."


Yang was called to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs after Tom Lantos, the Democratic committee chairman, accused the company of giving false information to Congress when it said it had no information about the nature of an investigation of Shi before it gave Chinese authorities identifying information about the journalist's e-mail. Shi was subsequently arrested and is serving a ten-year prison term.


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