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The lawyer for a Chinese journalist behind bars after writing about suspected corruption says a court has rejected an appeal against a new sentence ordered just before the reporter was to be released.

Beijing attorney Wang Quanzhang says he received on Monday the decision on the case of reporter Qi Chonghuai by a court in Shandong province.

Wang says the case sets a dangerous precedent because Qi was being tried a second time in June on similar charges to those which he faced in 2008. Qi was near the end of a four-year jail term when the second trial resulted in another eight years' imprisonment.

Rights groups say Qi was arrested in 2007 after he wrote about a local official who had beaten a woman for coming late to work.

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