Reporters Without Borders

Shi Tao

Shi Tao

Published on Thursday 1 April 2010. Updated on Saturday 10 April 2010.
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Date of Expected Release: April 2015



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In April of 2005, Journalist Shi Tao of the Contemporary Business News Daily (Dangdai Shang Bao) was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for sending foreign-based websites the text of an internal message which the authorities had sent to his newspaper. The text was a warning of the dangers of social destabilisation and risks resulting from the return of certain dissidents on the 15th anniversary of the Tianemen Square Massacre.

Trial and Sentencing


His trial claimed the message to be top Secret (Jue Mi), but this is largely seen as a fabrication. The trial is emblematic of even deeper problems since much of the information for his arrest is known to have been provided by Yahoo! Holdings Lmtd, the international media conglomerate, and just one of many corporations that have opted to side with the censors of the Chinese government. In August 2007, the United States congress decided to investigate Yahoo’s role in the conviction, which it criticised for "covering up despicable practices".

Tao is still being held in a prison in Changsha to which he was sent after his arrest in the northeastern city of Taiyuan on 24 November 2004.

Yahoo!’s Complicity in Shi Tao’s Sentencing

More Information on Internet Business in China

A letter from the HRIC and RWB to former President Bill Clinton

Beijing State Security Bureau- Notice of Evidence Collection

Sign the Petition calling for Tao’s release

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