LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – The wife of an imprisoned Chinese dissident has sued Yahoo Inc. for divulging information about her husband’s Internet activity, which allegedly led to his arrest and torture, the IDG news service reports.
The suit was filed by the World Organization for Human Rights USA on behalf of Yu Ling, the wife of Wang Xiazoning, said Monique Beadle, refugee project director for the organization. Wang was arrested in September 2002 on charges including “incitement to subvert state power.”
Ling is seeking damages under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act, two statutes under which U.S. companies have been sued for allegedly aiding in human rights abuses overseas, Beadle said. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland.
Ling, who is now reportedly in San Francisco, said court records show that the Chinese government requested records of her husband’s Internet activity, which Yahoo provided. Now, Wang “has been tortured in the Chinese prison where he is being held,” according to Beadle.
Yahoo said in a statement that it has not had time to review the lawsuit and could not comment on it. It added that it was “distressed that citizens in China have been imprisoned for expressing their political views on the Internet.”
The U.S. State Department, which handles foreign relations, should “continue making this issue of free expression a priority in bilateral and multilateral forums with the Chinese,” Yahoo said.