Thursday, October 27, 2016

Explosion Kills 14, Sina Weibo Promotes State Media, Blocks User Posts

On October 26, 2016, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “Death Toll From Explosion Rises to 14.” Some excerpts:
The death toll from a blast in a residential apartment block in Fugu county, Shaanxi province, on Monday has increased to 14, local authorities said. The local police said after a preliminary investigation that the cause of the accident was explosives.
. . . .
"Emergency rescue work has ended, as there have been no new reports of missing people from the blast," said Zhang Jiuping, director of Yulin city government's information office.
. . . .
Investigations showed that the five apartments that were completely destroyed in Monday's blast might have contained illegally stored explosives owned by a resident, surnamed Zhang, who is under police investigation.
These screenshots were taken on October 27, 2016, and show that Sina Weibo was completely censoring search results for “Fugu Big Explosion” (府谷 大爆炸) and “Yulin Big Explosion” (榆林 大爆炸).

These screenshots were taken on the same day and show that Sina Weibo users who searched for “Fugu Explosion” (府谷 爆炸) and “Yulin Explosion” (榆林 爆炸) were only being shown news articles from China’s state sponsored media outlets, but were not be shown any user generated content.

These screenshots were taken on the same day and show that when a Sina Weibo user clicked on “Show All Search Results” they were told that Sina Weibo cannot find any search results at all.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Baidu, Sina, News Websites Censor Discussion of Retired Soldiers' Protest in Beijing

On October 12, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “China Vows to Address ‘Challenges Facing Veterans' After Protest.” Some excerpts:
China's military authorities on Wednesday pledged to continue addressing the difficulties facing some military veterans, after over 1,000 of them gathered outside a military building to protest their dismissal.

China's Ministry of National Defense confirmed the gathering with the Global Times in a statement sent by its Information Bureau on Wednesday, saying that in recent years some veterans have been facing personal and employment problems, and that they have appealed with letters and calls.

The statement said that the Communist Party of China, the State Council--China's Cabinet--and the Central Military Commission care about veterans and pay high attention to solving their problems.
. . . .
More than 1,000 protesters marched and chanted in front of China's defense ministry Tuesday, the latest apparent demonstration by soldiers as the world's largest standing military modernizes and downsizes. Two demonstrators told Associated Press that they were veterans who wanted the government to address military pensions.

"They protested because they don't have a job after serving a long period of time in the army, some for a dozen years," Liu Feiyue, editor of the website Minsheng Guancha, which monitors civil rights issues, was quoted as saying in the report.
The Global Times published a Chinese language version in its print edition, but there was no indication that the Global Times posted the Chinese language version on its website. These screenshots show that the article was being deleted from other websites where it had been reposted.

 The Chinese language version was entitled “Retired Soldiers’ Rights Defense Issues Should Be Objectively Assessed” (退伍军人维权问题应得到客观评估).  Besides the differing titles, other differences between the English and Chinese versions included:
  • The English version said specified the location as "China's defense ministry." The Chinese version said it happened "in front of a military affairs leadership agency" (军事领导机关前);
  • The English version said that "more than 1,000 protestors marched and chanted." The Chinese version said "several hundred retired soldiers gathered" (数百名退伍军人聚集).
  • The English version said "Two demonstrators told Associated Press that they were veterans who wanted the government to address military pensions." The Chinese version said foreign media were unable to determine what the demonstrators' demands were (关于他们的诉求,和他们都是哪个年代退伍的,外媒说法不一).
These screenshots show that Sina Weibo began censoring searches for “Retired Soldiers Petition” (退伍军人上访) on October 12.

These screenshots show that on October 13 Baidu deleted a question from its Knowledge (Zhidao 知道) platform.

The question read: “Yesterday over 2,000 retired soldiers assembled in Beijing” (昨天北京聚集了2000多名退伍军人).

The answers were:
  • “Haven’t heard of it” (没听说啊)
  • “Never seen people in China march” (从没见过中国有人游行)
  • “Its said the government deducted their medical expenses and other charges, many are former leaders” (说政府克扣他们的医疗费用还有其他什么费,好多还是以前领导的)
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These screenshots were taken on October 13, and show that Baidu had banned users from establishing PostBar (贴吧 Tieba) forums on the subjects of “Retirees” (退伍) and “Soldiers” (军人).

Friday, September 30, 2016

China Announces "Human Rights Action Plan," Baidu Still Bans Forums on "Human Rights"

On September 29, 2016, China’s official news agency Xinhua published a report entitled “China Publishes New Action Plan on Human Rights.” Some excerpts:
The Chinese government on Thursday published its third national action plan on human rights protection, addressing challenges and promising to improve people's standard of living and quality of life.

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016-2020), released by the State Council Information Office (SCIO), follows the previous two which covered 2009-2010 and 2012-2015 periods.
From the section of the Action Plan entitled “Rights of Expression and Supervision”:
Services shall be further improved for netizens to express their opinions, and great store shall be set on social sentiments and public opinions as expressed on the Internet.
These screenshots were taken on September 30, 2016, and show that Baidu continues to ban users from establishing PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forums on the topic of “Human Rights” (人权), “freedom” (自由), and “speech” (言论).

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Photo of Weeping Wife of Jailed Chinese Lawyer Wang Quanzhang Disappears From Sina Weibo

Also from this blog:
On July 13, 2015, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “Lawyers ‘Tried to Influence Verdicts’.” Some excerpts:
A group suspected of disturbing public order and making profits by illegally hiring protesters in an attempt to influence court decisions has been broken up, the top public security authority said.
The suspects include lawyers who acted as organizers, social media users who planned operations and people who posed as petitioners, the Ministry of Public Security said on Saturday.

The group, led by attorneys from Beijing Fengrui Law Firm, are accused of trying to create social conflict by using paid protesters, trying to influence public sentiment and spreading rumors, a statement from the ministry said.

The lawyers detained include Zhou Shifeng, the firm's director, and his colleagues Liu Sixin, Huang Liqun, Wang Yu and Wang Quanzhang. Zhou is suspected of being involved in other suspected felonies being probed.

The lawyers allegedly organized more than 40 incidents across the country since July 2012.
On January 19, 2016, the website of the state sponsored China Radio International published an article entitled “Police Smashes Illegal Organization Jeopardizing China's National Security.” Some excerpts:
Chinese authorities announced on Tuesday they have smashed an illegal organization that sponsored activities jeopardizing China's national security.

The suspects, including a Swedish national, have been put under coercive measures in line with the criminal law.

According to a statement from Chinese police and national security authorities, the Swedish national, Peter Jesper Dahlin, and some other people have been operating an unregistered "China emergency rights aid group" on China's mainland, and had received undeclared money from overseas and carried out unregulated activities.
. . . .
Dahlin and Wang Quanzhang, a lawyer with Fengrui, co-founded "Joint Development Institute Limited" (JDI) in Hong Kong in August, 2009. JDI operated on the Chinese mainland under the name of "China emergency rights aid group".

Dahlin's organization also provided funds to Xing Qingxian, who had been accused of illegally assisting the son of Wang Yu, another Fengrui lawyer, to illegally cross the Chinese border.
On August 29, 2016, verified Sina Weibo user “Lawyer Jiangang” posted the following on Sina Weibo:
Repost: The first day of Li Wenzu’s apartment hunting. State Security officials appeared out of nowhere and flashed their badges at the landlord. And that was that for the apartment! Wens said, “I don’t want cry in front of those bastards. But she couldn’t stop herself from crying. I thought, of course you can cry, and after you’re done crying you’ve got to persevere, because when all hope is lost the compassionate god will show you the way. (Wens sits on the roadside, the black car belongs to state security, the woman in the rear is a state security official).
转:李文足找房第一天。国保突然冒了出来,向房东亮了证件。房子,就黄了!文足说,我不想在这些王八蛋面前哭。可是她还是忍不住哭了。我觉得当然可以哭,哭了之后仍然坚持,在绝望中怜悯的上帝必会给人开一条路。(文足坐在路边,黑色的车是国保 车,后边的是女国保)。
This is the photo that accompanied the post.

On September 1, 2016, verified Weibo user “Lawyer Huang Simin” posted the following on her Sina Weibo:
Li Wenzu: The police have already created files at every kindergarten, and no child of Wang Quanzhang will be enrolled. They are blocking my child from going to school to blackmail me, hoping to render me fearful and obedient, and not expose their illegal behavior anymore
These screenshots show that all of these posts were deleted. 

 By September 14 the only uncensored post remaining was this video that portrayed Li as working with foreigners to harm China.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Posts About Wukan Deleted From Baidu's PostBar Forum

 Also from this blog:
On September 15, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Foreign Media Fails to Trick Wukan Villagers on Rumor.” Some excerpts:
After police in Lufeng, a city in South China’s Guangdong Province that oversees Wukan Village, arrested 13 people on Tuesday morning at the village for disrupting public order and inciting illegal assemblies, life began to return to normal.
. . . .
Some foreign media sent their reporters to the village to wait for conflicts between police and villagers to happen right after they heard about the Wukan incident. Unfortunately, they waited for nothing in the end. The local government chose to avoid conflicts and confrontations. Even though some foreign media have been unscrupulously inciting, planning, and directing chaos, local police have not resorted to violence to solve the issue.
These screenshots show examples of posts that Baidu deleted from its Wukan PostBar (贴吧 Tieba) forum.

So many 50 Cent Partiers . . . . All of you who come to the Wukan forum to ask what is going on. The “they” of whom you cannot speak are not going to let you know. Our posts are getting deleted every second.
真多五毛党 . . . . 来乌坎吧问情况的各界人士们。你们问不出什么的“他们”不想让你们知道。我们发帖了也是秒删的

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Sooner or later this damned Party will be finished, this is only the beginning . . . . those in the know understand that the best is yet to come
鬼党早晚要完,快了,这只是开始 . . . . 明白人都知道接下来还有更精彩的

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Support the villagers in Wukan

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Below are some of the photos that accompanied the deleted posts.