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In China, Wang Lihong sentenced for protest supporting bloggers

The retired businesswoman is given nine months in prison for 'stirring up trouble' in what had become a test case for freedom of expression in China.

September 08, 2011|By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Beijing — A retired Chinese businesswoman was given a nine-month prison sentence Friday for obstructing traffic and "stirring up trouble" in what had become a test case for freedom of expression in China.

The charges against Wang Lihong, 56, stem from her protest in 2010 in eastern China's Fujian province in support of three bloggers. The three were charged with defamation after they tried to help a mother investigating her daughter's death.

Among Wang's most vociferous supporters was the dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

"If you have a mother, if you are a woman, if you are an ordinary person, if you don't want to be forced to disappear or face false accusation, please pay attention to Wang Lihong," he said.

barbara.demick@latimes.com

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