Chinese woman sentenced to a year in labour camp over tweet
Posted by Author on November 18, 2010
Amnesty International, 17 November 2010 –
Amnesty International today urged the Chinese authorities to release a woman sentenced to a year in a labour camp for retweeting a supposedly anti-Japanese message.
Chinese online activist Cheng Jianping was sentenced to one year of ‘Re-education Through Labour’ on Monday for “disturbing social order”, having retweeted a satirical suggestion on October 17 that the Japanese Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo be attacked.
Cheng disappeared ten days later, on what was to be her wedding day, her whereabouts unknown until it emerged this week that she had been detained and sentenced by local police.
“Sentencing someone to a year in a labour camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person’s clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China’s repression of online expression” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director for the Asia-Pacific.
The offending tweet was originally posted by Cheng’s fiancé Hua Chunhui, mocking China’s young nationalist demonstrators who had smashed Japanese products in protest over a maritime incident between China and Japan involving the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.
Hua’s original tweet said “Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products, that was all done years ago by Guo Quan [an activist and expert on the Nanjing Massacre]. It’s no new trick. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you’d immediately fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion.”
Retweeting the comment as ‘wangyi09’, Cheng Jianping added the phrase “Angry youth, charge!” The tweet has only been retweeted by three people.
Cheng may be the first Chinese citizen to become a prisoner of conscience on the basis of a single tweet.
Her fiancé Hua Chunhui, who tweets as ‘wxhch’, is not known to have been detained.
“It is possible that Cheng Jianping may have been targeted for her online activism over the last few years and her expressions of support for other Chinese dissidents and activists,” said Sam Zarifi.
According to other Chinese activists on Twitter, Cheng had participated in low-level online activism, including support for imprisoned Nobel Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and imprisoned consumer rights advocate Zhao Lianhai, as well as fundraising in support of other activists.
Twitter is blocked in China but is widely accessed and used, particularly by human rights defenders and their supporters who often use the social-networking platform to quickly organise in support of human rights activists who are detained or tried in court.
Re-education Through Labour is an administrative punishment that can deprive an individual of their liberty for up to 4 years through a decision by the police without a trial by an independent court.
- Click to email (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
This entry was posted on November 18, 2010 at 1:26 am and is filed under Activist, Central China, China, Freedom of Speech, Henan, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Women, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.