Showing posts from 2022

Censorship of Court Judgments in the PRC

This blog has previously discussed the issue of "data missingness" in the case of administrative punishment decisions - see "Disappearing Government Records Show Police Ordering People, Companies to Stop Using Foreign VPNs" . This post will cover the "data missingness" that has occurred with respect to court judgments on the "China Judgments Online" database. Volume 22, No. 3 (August 2022) of The China Review included an essay by Chao Xi titled "How the Chinese Judiciary Works: New Insights from Data-Driven Research" ( ). According to Chao, Professor and Outstanding Fellow, Associate Dean (Research), and Chair, Corporate Law and Governance Cluster of the Centre for Comparative and Transnational Law at the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong: One of the most pressing methodological challenges of CJO-based

20th Party Congress Censorship

This blog has been following censorship of information relating to Party Congresses for over a decade now, some previous posts: Central Propaganda Department Orders News Websites to Support 18th Party Congress As 18th Party Congress Convenes, Sina Weibo Removes Censorship Notice, Steers Users to Official Content, Obscures User Posts   Baidu's New Censorship Policies for Leaders' Names After the 18th Party Congress Sina Weibo Enacts New "7 Day Delay" Function for Sensitive Terms Following 18th Party Congress How Other Websites Are Censoring Leaders' Names After the 18th Party Congress This year, the Communique of the Seventh Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China stated "it was decided at the session that the Party will convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing on October 16, 2022." Prior to the commencement of the Congress, PRC based search engines were already devoting their home page doodles to the Party an

Dr. Li Wenliang's "Self-Criticism" Letter

Translator's Note : This document was downloaded from the New York Times website: "Dr. Li’s Apology Letter," October 5, 2022, , which was published alongside the article "How a Chinese Doctor Who Warned of Covid-19 Spent His Final Days," October 6, 2022, . According to that article: "[Li Wenliang's] employer, Wuhan Central Hospital where he worked as an eye doctor, had made him write a letter of apology, the content of which was obtained by The Times." In addition to being required to write this self-criticism, PRC police issued a formal reprimand to Dr. Li, and a translation of that reprimand can be found on p. 621 of "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China," . For additional background on how Dr. Li was silenced a

Further Documenting PRC Censorship of the UN and Xinjiang

 In a previous post this blog showed how PRC Internet companies censored information relating to Michelle Bachelet's May 2022 "visit" to Xinjiang in her capacity as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: . On August 31, 2022, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued its "Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China." The Office's findings included:  Serious human rights violations have been committed in XUAR in the context of the Government’s application of counter-terrorism and counter-“extremism” strategies. The implementation of these strategies, and associated policies in XUAR has led to interlocking patterns of severe and undue restrictions on a wide range of human rights. The extent of arbitrary and discriminatory detention of members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim groups, pursuant to law an

Guo Qizhen's Essay Extolling Civil Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

In 2007, a PRC appeals court upheld a lower court's judgment finding Guo Qizhen (郭起真) guilty of inciting subversion of state power on the grounds that he "distributed a large number of articles on the 'Democracy Forum' website, attacked and cursed the State government, and disseminated speech that damaged the State regime, the socialist system, and the judicial system." Below is a translation of one of the articles cited by court: "Announcement Regarding Participating in Gao Zhisheng's Hunger Strike." A full translation of the court's judgment can be found on p. 365 of "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China: Cases Illustrating the Application of National Security and Public Order Laws to Political and Religious Expression," available for free download at SSRN: . More information about civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng can be found here: Almost Every Major Chinese Internet Com

Gao Zhisheng's 2006 Hunger Strike Announcements

 Gao Zhisheng was named one of the PRC's top 10 lawyers by the Ministry of Justice in 2001  ( ) and was one of 14 PRC civil rights lawyers named Asia Weekly's "People of the Year" in 2005: . Gao Zhisheng and his law firm defended clients in many seminal civil rights cases, such as the 2005 prosecution of Xiao Yunfei for publishing Christian literature without government authorization. A translation of her court judgment can be found here: . In 2006, Gao Zhisheng was sentenced to 3 years in prison, suspended, and 5 years probation for subversion of state power after he launched a hunger strike. Two of his announcement that were published online are translated below. More information about civil rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng can be found here: Almost Every Major Chinese Internet Company Bans Searches for Gao Zhisheng: http:

Another Civil Rights Law Firm Shuttered - Daoheng

If one looks at the first two decades of the 21st century, the three PRC law firms that had the strongest track records for defending civil rights were (in no particular order): Fengrui, Daoheng, and Mo Shaoping. Fengrui was the primary target of the 7.09 crackdown , and many of its lawyers/employees were imprisoned by the PRC government on subversion/inciting charges, based mainly on their writings/meetings/organizing connected to high profile civil rights cases. I have an entire section of my casebook - "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China" - devoted to those prosecutions. Its available as a free PDF download on my website here - .  Yesterday, Liang Xiaojun, formerly lawyer at the Daoheng Law Firm, tweeted that the Daoheng Law Firm has also been shuttered - .  Here is a translation of @liangxiaojun's post about the

Censorship Associated with the UN Visit to Xinjiang

In late May, 2022, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made an official visit to China. Here is an excerpt from her statement issued on May 28: I should state from the outset what this visit was – and what it wasn’t. This visit was not an investigation – official visits by a High Commissioner are by their nature high-profile and simply not conducive to the kind of detailed, methodical, discreet work of an investigative nature. The visit was an opportunity to hold direct discussions – with China’s most senior leaders – on human rights. . .  This screenshot was taken on June 15, and shows Baidu claiming it has indexed over 80k web pages of the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ( But Baidu can't (apparently) locate any web pages from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' website containing the word "Xinjiang" (新疆). These screenshots were taken on  June 15, 2022, and show that searches for &quo