Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Baidu's Encyclopedia and News Websites Delete Information About Official Killed During Shuanggui

On April 11, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Wenzhou Official Under Shuanggui Dies." Some excerpts:
A Party member and chief engineer for a State-owned enterprise in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, died in suspicious circumstances Tuesday while being held for investigation by the city's commission for discipline inspection.
The People's Procuratorate of Wenzhou said the man, Yu Qiyi, "suffered an accident" Monday night and died in hospital at 3:15 am on Tuesday. However, Yu's family slammed claims his death was accidental, insisting photos circulated online show he had bruises and appeared to have been bitten.
Yu, born in 1971, was the chief engineer of the Wenzhou Industry Investment Group.
He was being held under shuanggui, a procedure in which Party and government officials are asked to confess to wrongdoings for serious violations of Party discipline and State laws.
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The hospital listed the cause of Yu's death as drowning, noting he was unconscious when admitted for treatment, his father said. 
 This screenshot was taken on October 8, 2013, and shows that Baidu has banned users from establishing forums on its PostBar (贴吧 Tieba) forum on the subject of "Shuang Gui" (双规).

On April 16, the Global Times published an article entitled "Family Slams Autopsy of Official Who ‘Suffered an Accident’ in Custody." Some excerpts:
Yu Zusheng, father of the deceased official, told the Global Times on Monday that the police ignored requests from the family to have a third party present, and performed the postmortem examination on their own at around 9:30 am on Sunday.
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"I don't understand why the police are being so secretive and want to keep us out of this. It has been seven days since the death of my son. There is more than enough time to find out when the death occurred and who are the potential suspects," said Yu Zusheng.
Pu Zhiqiang, lawyer of the Yu family, told the Global Times that his client will challenge the legitimacy of the autopsy and whatever evidence came out of it in court because it was not conducted independently.
On September 4, the Global Times published an article from the state-sponsored Beijing Times (京华时报) entitled "Wenzhou Official Dies During Shuanggui After Having His Head Repeatedly Pushed Under Water" (温州官员双规期间被纪委人员反复按头闷水致死). Some excerpts:
On April 9 of this year, Wenzhou official Yu Qiyi died under unusual circumstance while under shuanggui. Beijing Times reporters learned yesterday that his case will be adjudicated in another jurisdiction - the Intermediate People's Court in Quzhou, Zhejiang. On August 30, the Quzhou Procurotorate filed indictments in Yu Qiyi's case against six Communist Party cadres. The indictments claims that five of the six are officials with the Discipline and Inspection Office, while the remaining individual was seconded from the Procurotorate. The Procurotorate claims that in order to force Yu Qiyi to disclose information, they repeatedly stuffed him into a ice-filled bath, resulting in his death, placing them under suspicion of murder.
. . . .
The indictments say the six defendants are Cheng Wenjie, Wu Zhiwei, Li Xiang, Nan Yu, Gu Chenfu, and Zhang Fangchao, that Gu Chenfu was on secondment from Wenzhou Procuratorate to the Wenzhou Municipal Discipline and Inspection Office, and that the five others were all cadres at the Wenzhou Municipal Discipline and Inspection Office. The six defendants are all Communist Party members, and three are "80's" generation cadres.
. . . .
April 20, Cheng Wenjie, Li Xiang, and Nan Yu were subjected to criminal detention by the Quzhou Public Security Office, and were officially arrested one month later.
May 15, the other three were criminally detained, and were officially arrested on June 20.
. . . .
Wu Pengbin [lawyer for Yu Qiyi's widow, Wu Qian] said that two days ago he filed an application with the Quzhou Intermediate People's Court asking to be allowed to review the case files, and the Court's clear response was that no review would permitted during the trial period. He was similarly rebuffed last week when he made an application to review the files with Quzhou Procurotorate.
. . . .
Wu Pengbin said that he had been retained by the family to advocate on behalf of the victims, and had received permission to participate in the trial, but that because he was unable to review the files, "there was absolutely no way for him to express any opinions, and there is no way for the rights and interests of the victims to have any guarantees." 
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As of September 8 the article was still available on the Global Times web site here - http://china.huanqiu.com/hot/2013-09/4319432.html. As of September 15, it had been deleted.

These screenshots show that the article was also deleted from the web sites of Xinhua and the Legal Daily.
This video shows that the article was also removed from the Beijing Times web site here - http://news.jinghua.cn/fazhi/2013/0904/7898.shtml.

The following video was made on September 15, and shows that, of the top ten search results on Baidu for the Beijing Times' article's title, it has been deleted from every page except this one: http://news.china.com/3g/11143958/20130904/18031528.html.

These screenshots show that, between September 5 and September 9, all information relating to Yu Qiyi's death had been deleted from Baidu's Encyclopedia (百科 Baike) article on Yu Qiyi. The article ends with the statement that he was placed under shuanggui in March 2013, but makes no mention of the fact that he is dead or the circumstances surrounding his death.

This screenshot shows the history of the edits on Yu Qiyi's Baidu Baike article, with the final entry on September 9 saying: "Deleted content with invalid reference materials or lacking supporting reference material" (删除失效参考资料以及没有参考资料支持的内容).

On September 19, Zhang Lifan (章立凡) published an article on his blog entitled "Record of Court Proceedings in the Attack of Yu Qiyi (Prepared by Pu Zhiqiang)" (於其一被害案庭审纪录(浦志强整理)). The article, originally available here - http://blog.caijing.com.cn/expert_article-151497-59125.shtml - purported to be a record of the September 17 proceedings at the Intermediate People's Court in Quzhou, Zhejiang. These screenshots show that the article was subsequently deleted.

Some excerpts:
Li Xiang Defense Counsel #2: Today by convening this hearing we wanted to examine the facts in order to determine each of your reletive positions and roles. Right now I would ask you a question, which the prosecutor and your own defense counsel has already asked, which is that, when you recommended Li Xiang to Liu Xianfeng . . . oh, excuse me, I accidentally spoke the name of your leader, they had interviewed and chatted, he was the director of your supervision office, correct? Can you please directly tell the court the name of the director of your supervision office?
Cheng Wenjie: His name is Liu Xianfeng.
Li Xiang Defense Counsel #2: On the afternoon of April 8, do you remember the content of the brief meeting?
Cheng Wenjie: About the circumstances of meeting that afternoon, I've already given an explanation to the police, and its all recorded in the case file.
Li Xiang Defense Counsel #2: Defense counsel asks that you clearaly explain it to the court.
Judge: This court has already heard it, you don't need to say anything on the matter.
Pu Zhiqiang Interrupts: As legal counsel we demand the court allow him to explain, all of you have the case file, we're the only ones who don't have the case file, you can't have this kind of speaking in riddles during a hearing.
Judge: Counsel will observe discipline in this court, it is not your time to speak.
Pu Zhiqiang: But we don't have the case file, we have a need to know, the court should let him explain!
Judge: This court has decided not to allow you to speak! Respect order in the court!
Pu Zhiqiang: Your court must respect the law! How can you not allow us to see the case file?!
. . . .
Judge (approximately 11:05): This morning, just now, the prosecution and defense counsel have put questions to the defendant Cheng Wenjie, and the Court has heard everything, and therefore, the court will not entertain any further arrangements for the legal representatives to question the defendant. . . .
Wu Pengbin: How can you not let us cross-examine? We have dozens of questions here to ask him, and I can assure you that the questions we want to ask won't be repetitive of those asked by the prosecution and defense counsel! Why won't you let us cross-examine?
Pu Zhiqiang: The law gives the victim rights, how can you deprive us? What is it you're afraid of?
Judge: I must ask legal counsel to observe order in the court! You will show this judge respect!
Pu Zhiqiang: They you must respect the law! That is the emblem of our nation behind you! Your authority comes from the law, and you have no authority to walk all over it!
Judge: This court will no longer permit you to speak! The court has rendered its decision, and no more questioning of the defendant will be permitted!
Pu Zhiqiang: So that's the way it is! Well! Have it your way! I once request you recuse yourself!
Judge: Watch your attitude and tone when speaking to the judge! This court has already decided that you will not be permitted submit another application for recusal!
(Wu Pengbin shouts, in the visitors' gallery all of the 60-70 observers are relatively quiet, except for Yu Qiyi's father, widow, and brother-in-law, who stand up and shout their objections.)
(About a dozen police officers arrive, and gather behind Pu Zhiqiang and Wu Pengbin.)
Pu Zhiqiang: Whether the judge believes it or not, there will come a day when you will find yourself sitting down here!
(Pu Zhiqiang picks up the microphone on the desk and tosses it back down, the microphone had never been turned on.)
Judge: Officers! Remove legal counsel from the courtroom! 
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