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China Jails Woman for Internet Lies

Police in central China have jailed a 50-year-old woman for posing as a teenage rape victim on the Internet, an official and state media said Wednesday.

The China Daily newspaper reported on its Web site that the woman, identified only by her surname Chen, pretended to be a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.

In July she started posing as the girl, calling herself Little Raindrop, the newspaper said.

"She fabricated rumors and mislead the public," said Wang Bing, an official with the propaganda department of the Tianqiao District Public Security Bureau in Jinan city.

Chen was detained Sunday and would be held for ten days though she has not been charged with any crime, Wang said. "We're discussing further punishment, maybe re-education through labor," he said.

It was not immediately clear how police managed to track down Chen.

The UN, European Union and human rights groups have called on China to abolish its system of re-education through labor, which allows authorities to imprison people without trial.

The woman, who is divorced and has one grown daughter, told people during online chats that her stepfather kept her locked up at home, arousing concern among her Internet friends who reported the case to local police, the China Daily said.

"Some warmhearted netizens posted details of Little Raindrop's story to the big Internet forums where it became a hot topic and got more than 300,000 hits," Jinan's local Qi Lu Evening News reported on its Web site.

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