The Straits Times
Published on Dec 03, 2012

Chinese court denies jail terms for abusing petitioners in Beijing


BEIJING (REUTERS) - A Chinese court has denied reports that it sentenced 10 people to jail for illegally detaining petitioners in Beijing, state media said on Monday, rejecting the account of what had been seen as a rare move to curb abuses of the law.

A Beijing newspaper reported on Sunday that the capital's Chaoyang district court sentenced 10 people from the poor central province of Henan to up to 18 months in jail for stopping petitioners from the province from airing grievances.

The report said the petitioners had been held in rented houses in a Beijing suburb and beaten.

But the official Xinhua news agency on Monday cited an unnamed court spokesperson denying the report, which had been spread widely on the Internet and published by numerous Chinese state media.