A veteran of China's 1989 pro-democracy movement was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after writing Internet essays critical of the communist government, a monitoring center said.

Li Jianping was convicted of subversion by a court in the eastern city of Zibo in Shandong province, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.

Li was detained in May 2005, according to his family.

Li, who operated a medical supply company, had posted essays online that criticized the government over issues including efforts to enact an anti-subversion law in Hong Kong, the Information Center said.

An employee who answered the phone at the court in Zibo and wouldn't give his name said he couldn't confirm the report.

Li's wife, Xu Hui, said earlier that his case was brought before the courts twice but was rejected for insufficient evidence before the prosecution finally went forward.

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