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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 07:48 GMT 08:48 UK
China arrests internet editor
Chinese internet cafe
China now boasts more than 10m internet users
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Beijing

The man who launched China's first human rights website has been arrested and accused of attempting to overthrow the state.

Huang Qi and his wife were taken from their home in the city of Chengdu last Saturday after articles commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown were published on his website.

The arrests came on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the bloody suppression of the pro-democracy movement.
Protester infront of tanks, Tiananmen protests
Mr Huang published articles about Tiananmen protests

His wife, Zeng Li, was released three days later, but she says her husband continues to be held and has now been charged with subversion.

One of the items published on Mr Huang's website was a letter from the mother of a young student killed during the demonstrations. It accused police of beating her son to death.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people were killed as the Tiananmen Square movement was suppressed in 1989.

Another told how dissidents around China had been detained by police ahead of this year's anniversary.

Net boom

Mr Huang's arrest is another sign of just how nervous the Chinese Government is about the explosive growth of the internet, and, in particular, with its use by dissident groups to disseminate information the authorities consider subversive.
web
China remains wary of the internet

On Tuesday, China's official news agency reported the number of internet users in the country had broken the 10 million barrier, up from just two million a year ago.

Earlier this year, the government announced a series of draconian regulations designed to control the content of news sites on the internet.

Previously, websites had been operating largely outside of the tight control imposed by the government on all mainstream news media.

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See also:

04 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
China quells Tiananmen protests
19 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
China targets religious group
29 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Can governments control the internet?
02 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
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Online boom for China
16 Sep 99 | The Economy
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