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Shandong Court Upholds Jail Sentence for Blind Mob Organizer
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A Chinese court on Friday upheld its decision to sentence blind mob organizer Chen Guangcheng to more than four years in jail after a retrial.

Chen was sentenced to four years and three months by the People's Court in Yinan County, eastern Shandong Province, after being convicted of damaging public property and organizing a mob to disrupt traffic.

The same court passed the sentence on Aug. 19, but Chen appealed to the Intermediate People's Court in Linyi City. On Oct. 31, the intermediate court demanded a retrial of Chen's case, saying Chen's right to defend himself had been restricted.

The county court appointed a different jury for the case and held a court session on Nov. 27.

Chen destroyed public facilities, including office windows, in February in the village of East Shigu to vent his anger at workers who were carrying out poverty-relief programs, the court said.

In March, he organized a group of people to stop traffic for three hours and delayed more than 290 vehicles, including an ambulance that was carrying an expectant mother to hospital, the court said.

He was given four years for causing traffic congestion and seven months for deliberately damaging public property, according to the court.

(Xinhua News Agency December 1, 2006)

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