San Francisco (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The International Organisation for human rights has called web giant Yahoo! to court in the United States, guilty of having provided the Chinese government with information to trace and arrest journalists and dissidents.
The group – which has a long history of working to promote human rights world wide – has also asked a court in San Francisco to charge Yahoo! With complicity with Beijing in the abuse of civil rights and in acts of torture committed against arrested dissidents.
The Organisation appeared before the judges on behalf of Shi Tao, arrested for having denounced government corruption via internet, and Wang Xiaoning, condemned to ten years in prison for having sent articles regarding democratic reform and the multiparty system via e-mail.
The web giant responded to the charges stating that it was obliged to work in agreement with the laws of each single state in which the system is used, but admitted that collaboration with the Chinese government had led to arrests and arbitrary detentions. In a document, the group affirms its wish to respect the privacy of its users and that it has frequently asked “that a way be found to work in the field without breaking ethical principals”.
Beyond the charges brought against Yahoo!, the rights organisation is also targeting other companies working in IT and web. Among them Microsoft, who in accordance with a request from Beijing has closet a popular Internet site that gave space to “sensitive issues” such as democracy, an Google, which offers a censored version of their research engine.