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Crackdown on Falun Gong, pirates, adult DVDs

Chinese government begins 100-day campaign

The Chinese government has moved to close down illegal production of DVDs by pirates, pornographers and the banned Falun Gong spiritual group, state-run media reported on Friday.

Officers of several government ministries and departments including China's National Anti-Pornography and Anti-Piracy Office raided production lines in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang and the southern province of Guangdong. The raids mark the start of a 100-day campaign against piracy, the English-language newspaper China Daily said, although some of the actions and arrests mentioned came ahead of the campaign's official start.

Police arrested two people in Heilongjiang in late March for producing more than 4,000 items, including DVDs, as promotional materials for Falun Gong, a movement banned in 1999.

Authorities in that province also sentenced Du Jun, the operator of a pornographic website, to 11 years in prison and fined him 30,000 renminbi (about £2,000). Pornography is illegal in China and carries more severe penalties than illegal production of other types of DVDs and online material.

In Guangdong, a number of VCD (video CD) production lines were closed, and eight people were sentenced to three years' imprisonment for operating two such illegal facilities out of a basement, the newspaper said.

In Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, police seized almost 800,000 finished and unfinished pirated discs, the report said.

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