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Yahoo sued by Chinese dissidents again

Men sue Yahoo alleging that cooperation with China government led to imprisonment for one, financial losses for others.

Yahoo faces another lawsuit over its actions in China. Several Chinese men are suing the company and its Hong Kong subsidiary claiming they were harmed because of Yahoo's cooperation with the Chinese government.

The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Oakland, Calif., alleges that Yahoo provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to the 2003 arrest of Li Zhi, who has served about half of an eight-year sentence. However, Li is not named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Plaintiff Zheng Cunzhu alleges that when the arrest came to light in 2006, he was living in the U.S. at the time and lost his property in China when he did not return for fear of getting arrested for his pro-democracy activities, the lawsuit alleges.

A second dissident plaintiff, Guo Quan, claims he lost business when his name and that of his garment company were blocked by the Yahoo search results.

The claims against Yahoo include violation of international law including torture and prolonged detention, as well as unfair business practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and assault.

Yahoo representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Yahoo settled a lawsuit in November filed by family members of two other dissidents serving 10-year sentences after Yahoo handed their account information over to the Chinese government.

And just last week Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang sent U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice a letter asking the government to secure the release of dissidents jailed in China for their pro-democracy sentiments.