Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sina Weibo Censors Call to Release Those Who Called for Disclosure of Officials' Assets

This screenshot was taken on April 30, 2013, and shows that on that day Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Asset Disclosure Nine Gentlemen" (财产公示九君子).

On May 24, 2013, China-based civil rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong (许志永) published an article on his blog entitled "Citizen’s Statement Regarding the Arrest of the Asset Disclosure Ten Gentlemen" (公民就“财产公示十君子”被捕的声明). The post was signed by Xu,Xiao Shu (笑蜀), Wang Gongquan (王功权), Teng Biao (滕彪), Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵), Liang Xiaojun (梁小军), Li Fangping (李方平), and Xiao Guozhen (肖国珍). It has been translated by Yaxue Cao at Seeing Red In China. Some excerpts:
On March 31, 2013, Yuan Dong, Zhang Baocheng, Ma Xinli, Hou Xin and two others unfurled banners in downtown Xidan plaza, Beijing, calling for officials to publicly disclose their personal assets. Ten or so minutes later, they were taken away by police, and later, four of them were criminally detained on charges of “illegal assembly.”
. . . .
Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing, Sun Hanhui, Wang Yonghong, Li Wei, Qi Yueying didn’t appear on the Xidan scene on March 31, nor were any of them the person-in-charge of that event or directly responsible for it. Some of them had similarly expressed their personal views in other locations in Beijing, but again, none had “disobeyed an order of dismissal” or “seriously undermined the social order,” elements constituting a criminal offence, nor had they been stopped or penalized by the Public Security officers. Their actions cannot possibly constitute illegal assembly or the offence of “provocation and disruption.” 
. . . .
These screenshots show that Sina Weibo began censoring the phrase "Asset Disclosure Ten Gentlemen" (财产公示十君子) on May 26 or 27.

These screenshots were taken on May 26, and show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for "Ding Jiaxi" (丁家喜) and Zhao Changqing (赵常青).