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China Sentences Activists Sister

July 19, 2001

BEIJING (AP) _ The sister of a veteran labor activist has been sentenced to three years in a labor camp for helping him stage a hunger strike, a human rights group said Thursday.

Li Wangling was charged with subversion and sentenced this month in Shaoyang, a city in the central province of Hunan, said the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy. It was not clear to which labor camp she would be sent.

A police officer contacted in Shaoyang confirmed the charges and sentence and hung up the phone without giving his name.

Li’s brother, Li Wangyang, formed an independent trade union and advocated a strike during pro-democracy protests in 1989 that were crushed by the government.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges of ``counterrevolutionary activity″ and released in June 2000. His health ruined by abuse in prison, Li went on a 22-day hunger strike in February to demand that the prison pay his medical bills.

In May, police took him away from a hospital where he was being treated for heart and lung problems. He was charged the next month with subversion.

Li’s sister was detained for helping during his hunger strike and talking to foreign reporters, the Information Center said.

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