Saturday, April 22, 2006

Chi-Com Lover Bush No Problem with White House heckler charged

Sat Apr 22 2006

A woman who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao on a visit to the White House has been charged with a criminal offence by a US court.

Wang Wenyi, 47, could face up to six months in jail for "harassing, intimidating and threatening a foreign official".

Wang is a member of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and entered the White House grounds as a reporter for a pro-Falun Gong newspaper on Thursday 20 April.

She then interrupted a welcome ceremony hosted by US President George Bush, calling on President Hu to "stop persecuting Falun Gong".

Speaking after being charged, Wang said she was not guilty of any crime.

"It is not a crime, but an act of civil disobedience," she said, describing her actions as "an individual act of conscience".

And Wang's court-appointed lawyer, David Bos, challenged the criminal charge on free-speech grounds.

"It's making the First Amendment rights of all Americans just evaporate," he said, calling Wang's remarks "relatively innocuous."

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