Xu Zhiyong Sentenced to 4 Years Imprisonment - A Chronicle of Recent Related Censorship
|Court's Weibo Announcement|
On the morning of January 26, 2014, the the First Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing pronounced its judgment in the case of Xu Zhiyong gathering groups to cause disorder in public venues, finding that Xu Zhiyong had committed the crime of gathering groups to cause disorder in public venues, and in accordance with the law Xu Zhiyong had been sentenced to a term of four years imprisonment.
2014年1月26日上午,北京市第一中级人民法院依法对被告人许志永聚众扰乱公共场所秩序案作出一审判决,认定许志永构成聚众扰乱公共场所秩序罪,依法判处许志永有期徒刑四年。These screenshots show that, within minutes of the court announcing its verdict, Sina Weibo stopped censoring searches for “Xu Zhiyong.”
This is not the first time Sina stopped censoring Xu’s name to coincide with an official statement from the First Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing. On January 22, 2014, the First Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing published the following announcement on its Sina Weibo:
Wang Gongquan confessed that he, together with Xu Zhiyong committed criminal acts by planning and inciting groups to disturb order at public venues, and he expressed deep introspection regarding his own behavior.
王功权承认与许志永一起策划、煽动了聚众扰乱公共场所秩序的违法犯罪活动，他对自己的行为表示深刻反省。These screenshots show that Sina Weibo stopped censoring searches for Xu Zhiyong’s name for a brief period after that announcement.
These screenshots show that both Baidu and Qihoo began censoring searches for “Xu Zhiyong” on or about January 22 - the day of his trial.
These screenshots were taken on January 25, and show that a search on Baidu for “Xu Zhiyong’s Court Statement” (许志永的法庭陈词) only returns results from a white list of about a dozen web sites operated by the central government and the Communist Party, none of which actually contains that phrase. Placing that phrase in quotation marks leads Baidu to return no results - just a censorship notice.
Additional coverage of Xu Zhiyong's case:
- Sina Weibo Censors Call to Release Those Who Called for Disclosure of Officials' Assets: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/06/sina-weibo-censors-call-to-release.html
- Xu Zhiyong Detained (Again), China's Web Sites Censor It (Again): http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/07/xu-zhiyong-detained-again-chinas-web.html
- After Lawyer Xu Zhiyong is Detained His Baidu Encyclopedia Entry Disappears: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/07/after-lawyer-xu-zhiyong-is-detained-his.html
- China's Web Sites Censor Searches for Information on Lawyer Xu Zhiyong's Detention: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/07/chinas-web-sites-censor-searches-for.html
- China's State Media Talks About Xu Zhiyong, While China's Social Media Bans Discussion: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/08/chinas-state-media-talks-about-xu.html