Thursday, February 23, 2017

Man Sentenced to Six Months Imprisonment for Tencent Wechat Posts Defaming Xi Jinping

According to a judgment issued by the Ningling County People's Court in January 2017 (translated below) a defendant, identified only as "Mr. Yu,” was sentenced to six  months imprisonment for using Tencent’s Wechat service (also known as Weixin) to "fabricate facts, defame state leaders, and create a malicious influence." Mr. Yu was convicted of defamation. The court did not specify what Mr. Yu posted, but it did say that it “involved statements that defamed Comrade Chairman Xi Jinping.”

The original decision is available on the court's website here:

Mr. Yu Defamation
Judgment in the Court of First Instance

Ningling County People's Court
Henan Province
Criminal Judgment
(2017) Yu 1423 Criminal First Instance No. 26

Public Prosecutorial Agency Ninling County People's Procuratorate.
Defendant Mr. Yu, male, born January 12, 29189, Han, middle school education, farmer, residing in Ningling County, Henan Province. Subject to criminal detention on July 28, 2016, by the Ningling County Public Security Bureau on suspicion of committing the crime of defamation. Granted bail by the Ningling County Public Security Bureau on August 9, 2016. Released on bail by the Ninling County People's Procuratorate on December 24, 2016. Arrested on January 11, 2017 by order of this court, and the Ningling County Public Security Bureau executed the arrest on the same day.

In the Public Prosecution Indictment Document No. 330[2016] the Jinzhou Municipal People's Procuratorate charged the defendant Mr. Yu with the crime of defamation, and filed an indictment with this court. This court conducted a single adjudication using expedited procedures and held a hearing in open court. The Ningling County People's Procuratorate assigned Procurator Ning Xindong to appear in court in support of the indictment, and the defendant Mr. Yu appeared in court to participate in the trial. Hearings have now concluded.

Ningling County People's Procuratorate charged: at 2:24 on July 28, 2016, the defendant Mr. Yu was at his home at No. 1, Wangxiaojing Hutong No. 52, Chengguan Township, Ningling County. There he used his Wechat account to make several posts in the Wechat group "Yaping Yapai Technology Exchange and Sharing Group" that involved statements that defamed Comrade Chairman Xi Jinping. As proof of these foregoing facts the public prosecutorial agency submitted the defendants deposition and pleadings, documentary evidence, investigation records, and other evidence.

The public prosecutorial agency believes that the defendant Mr. Yu fabricated facts, defamed state leaders, created a malicious influence, and that his actions violated Article 246 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, and that he should be held criminally liable for defamation. They have asked this court to rule accordingly.

The defendant Mr. Xu did not refute the foregoing criminal fact as charged, was penitent, and asked that he be punished lightly.

This court's findings of fact are consistent with the criminal facts charged by the public prosecutorial agency.

The foregoing facts have been proven and determined to be acceptable based on the defendant Mr. Yu's household registration an investigation into his criminal record, other evidentiary proof such as as the investigation records and photographs and the defendant Mr. Yu's confession record.

This court finds that the defendant Mr. Yu fabricated facts, defamed state leaders, created a malicious influence, and that his actions constitute the crime of defamation. The crime charged by the public prosecutorial agency is established and is upheld by this court. In light of the circumstances of defendant Mr. Yu's candid confession, he is eligible for a lighter punishment. In accordance with Articles 246(1), 246(2), and 67(3) of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, it is hereby held:

Defendant Mr. Yu is guilty of the crime of defamation, and is sentenced to six months imprisonment. The sentence is to be calculated from the date of execution of this judgment, with the sentence to be reduced by one day for each day that she was in custody prior to the execution of this judgment. Therefore it shall run from January 11, 2017 to June 27, 2017.

If he does not agree with this judgment he may appeal to this court or directly to the Shangqiu Municipal Intermediate People's Court within 10 after the day after receiving this judgment. Written appeals should be submitted with one original and two copies.

Judicial Officer Wang Shouliang

January 12, 2017

Clerk Wang Zhen


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审判员  王守亮


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