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China rebel gets life in prison

Beijing, Feb. 10 (Reuters): A Chinese court sentenced a US-based Chinese dissident to life in prison today for spying for Taiwan and organising and leading a “terrorist” group, triggering protests from an international rights group.

The sentence handed down to Wang Bingzhang, 55, was one of the heaviest for a pro-democracy activist in recent memory.

“We are very angry. We lodge a strong protest,” Wang Xizhe, a spokesman for the Washington-based rights watchdog Free China Movement, said by telephone.

The official Xinhua news agency issued a terse two-paragraph dispatch that said Wang was also deprived of his political rights for life. It gave no further details. The Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen convicted Wang, who has a doctorate in medical research and had lived in New York since 1982, after a one-day trial behind closed doors in January. Court officials reached by telephone declined to comment, underlining the sensitivity of the case.

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