International - POSTED: 2009/11/24 11:49
A veteran dissident was sentenced to three years in prison after casting a spotlight on poorly built schools that collapsed and killed thousands of children during China's massive earthquake last year — an apparent government attempt to squelch such information.
Huang Qi, founder of a human rights Web site, had been charged with illegally possessing state secrets, his wife Zeng Li said Monday by telephone. His detention in June 2008 came after several posts on his blog that criticized the government's response to the massive earthquake that struck Sichuan province a month earlier and killed about 90,000 people.
Huang, 46, had alleged that state-controlled media provided skewed reports on relief efforts and accused the government of obstructing the work of non-governmental organizations responding to the disaster, according to reports at the time by Paris-based monitoring group Reporters Without Borders.