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Discrimination case over man's funny name
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Is having a strange name a crime? When a certain Zhao family in east China's Jiangxi Province had a son 23 years ago, they decided to give him a highly unusual name - C. As the family tells it, C stood for China, and it was also intended to encourage the boy to learn English.

But it caused the college student trouble with the police, and the case ended up in court.

The Yuehu branch of the Yingtan public security bureau in Jiangxi went on trial yesterday afternoon, as Zhao C sued it for alleged infringement of his rights, a court source said. The case was heard by Yingtan Intermediate People's Court.

According to Zhao, the police office refused to give him a new ID card as part of a nationwide replacement program. The police claimed that English letters couldn't appear in names and told him to get a new name.

"I was registered at birth under that old name," Zhao said.

The case first went to trial in January 2008, when Zhao's father sued the Yuehu branch on his son's behalf. The court of Yuehu District sided with Zhao and ordered the security bureau to issue a new ID card.

But Wan Cheng, director of the Yuehu branch, refused, saying: "It is against China's regulations to include letters in people's names."

(Xinhua News Agency February 27, 2009)

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