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7 Nov 2007

Corey Boles, Wall Street Journal

Families of Chinese Dissidents Speak Out Against Yahoo [USA]

The families of two Chinese dissidents said they hoped a congressional hearing into Yahoo's Inc.'s role in the men's imprisonment will help spur action for their release. Gao Qinsheng, the mother of jailed journalist Shi Tao, and Yu Lin, the wife of imprisoned cyber-dissident Wang Xiaoning, spoke passionately about Yahoo's conduct. Both women said they were pleased U.S. lawmakers grilled Yahoo executives about the cases during Tuesday's hearing... After Tuesday's hearing, [Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahan] met privately with Ms. Gao and Ms. Yu... According to Ms. Gao, the two apologized profusely for the company's role in the jailing of Messrs. Shi and Wang, and pledged to put pressure on the Chinese government to release them. They also discussed a court case in which the women are suing the company... In his testimony..., Mr. Callahan expressed a willingness to consider settling the case...Yahoo didn't respond to questions about whether the company would attempt to pressure Beijing over the jailed men.