April 11, 2017

Yahoo Inc has been hit with a lawsuit saying it failed to safeguard more than $17 million it pledged to help jailed Chinese dissidents in a 2007 settlement.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in federal court in Washington by a group of Chinese dissidents, accuses Yahoo of "willfully turning a blind eye" while Harry Wu, a high-profile political activist charged with administering the funds, used them for personal gain.

The company had a legal duty to make sure the funds were used properly, but instead used the settlement as "window-dressing" to "stem the immense criticism over Yahoo's complicity in egregious human rights violations," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit demands that the full amount of the settlement fund be replenished, and that the settlement be modified to ensure that dissidents are the sole beneficiaries.

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