- Based on public reports, Ruan Xiaohuan was the writer behind the "Program-Think" blog (编程随想的博客 https://program-think.blogspot.com/). Presumably all references in the court judgment "blogs" are to that blog.
- The Chinese version was created by running images of the court judgment through OCR software. I have tried to proof the OCR version, but some errors in transcription may remain.
Second Intermediate People's Court of Shanghai
(2021) Hu 2nd Criminal First Instance No. 67
The public prosecution agency was the People's Procuratorate of Shanghai Branch No. 2.
Defendant Ruan Xiaohuan, male, born June 10, 1977 in Quanzhou, Fujian, Han ethnicity, matriculated university but did not obtain a degree, unemployed, residing in this city at No. 558, Minjing Road, Yangpu District. On May 11, 2021 he was taken into criminal detention in connection with this case, and he was arrested on June 17 of the same year. He is currently being held in detention at the Shanghai Yangpu District detention center.
Defense counsel Lu Peiyu is a lawyer at the Shanghai Ruifa Law Firm.
In the Hu Procuratorate 2nd Criminal Indictment 2 (2021) No. Z18 indictment the People's Procuratorate of Shanghai Branch No. 2 charged defendant Ruan Xiaohuan committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power, and filed a public prosecution with this Court. This Court formed a collegial panel in accordance with the law, and because state secrets were implicated, tried this case with hearings in closed court. The People's Procuratorate of Shanghai Branch No. 2 assigned Procurator Xu Jing to appear in court in support of the public prosecution. Defendant Ruan Xiaohuan and his defense counsel appeared in court to participate in the proceedings. The trial has now concluded. The People's Procuratorate of Shanghai Branch No. 2 charged:
From June 2009 to May 2021, defendant Ruan Xiaohuan, owing to his long-term dissatisfaction with China's political system and social governance model, used his own computer in his residence to write more than a hundred inciting articles that manufactured rumors and defamed with contents that involved attacking and smearing China's current political system, inciting subversion of state power, and intending to overthrow the socialist system. He posted them through foreign Internet platforms, causing offensive outcomes such as a large number of Internet users to browse, comment, repost, and imitate them.
On May 10, 2021, defendant Ruan Xiaohuan was apprehended by public security agents at his residence, and the computer he was logged-into and using was taken into custody at the scene. After being taken into police custody, Ruan Xiaohuan fully confessed to the aforementioned criminal facts.
In order to substantiate the aforementioned charged facts, the public prosecutor read and produced in court relevant evidence, including defendant Ruan Xiaohuan's statement. It believed defendant Ruan Xiaohuan incited subversion of state power and the overthrow of the socialist order through manufacturing rumors, defamation, smearing, and other means, that he was a major offender, that his actions were the commission of an offense under the provisions of Article 105(2) of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China," and that he should bear criminal liability for committing the crime of inciting subversion of state power. After being taken into police custody, Ruan Xiaohuan made truthful statements regarding his criminal conduct, and can be given a lighter punishment. It requests an adjudication in accordance with the law.
Defendant Ruan Xiaohuan did not maintain any objections to the basic facts and the offense charged in the indictment, but he argued that his goal in writing articles implicating politics was a desire to let the country change for the better, and that the number of articles he distributed that incited subversion did not number in the hundreds.
Defense counsel did not maintain any objections to the basic facts and the offense charged in the indictment. At the same time, they proffered that prior to the development of this case defendant Ruan Xiaohuan's ideological understanding had undergone a transformation, and he is not as radical as before, and the number of articles implicating inciting subversion required further verification. After being taken into police custody Ruan Xiaohuan made truthful statements regarding the criminal facts,pleaded guilty and repented in court, and requested Ruan Xiaohuan be given a lighter punishment.
It was ascertained at trial that beginning in June 2009, defendant Ruan Xiaohuan, owing to his dissatisfaction with China's political system and social governance model, used a computer to write more than 100 inciting articles that manufactured rumors and defamed, attacking and smearing China's current political system, inciting subversion of state power, and intending to overthrow the socialist system, and he posted them through foreign Internet platforms, causing offensive outcomes such as a large number of Internet users to browse, comment, repost, and imitate them.
On May 10, 2021, public security agents apprehended defendant Ruan Xiaohuan at his residence, and the computer he was logged-into and using was taken into custody at the scene. After being taken into police custody, Ruan Xiaohuan made truthful statements regarding the aforementioned primary criminal facts.
The evidence proving the aforementioned facts is:
1.The "Decision to Open a Case," "Case Acceptance Form, "Apprehension Process," and "Arrest Process" issued by the public security agency confirmed the case resolution and the process of how the defendant Ruan Xiaohuan came into police custody in this case.
2. The "search warrant," "search record," "list of seized items," "seizure record," "crime scene investigation record," and relevant photographs, and "electronic data on the scene collection record" produced by the public security agency confirmed that, public security agents conducted a crime scene investigation and search of defendant Ruan Xiaohuan's residence in accordance with the law, and there was an Acer laptop computer on the desk in the second bedroom at the scene. The computer was connected to a monitor and a keyboard, and having ascertained by the power light of the computer that it was on, the screen was woken up by shaking the mouse, and a collection of the electronic data in the computer was conducted. Because the relative long period of time the collection took, the machine was transferred to the public security agency without turning off the power to continue to complete the collection work. At the same time, the public security agency also took into custody and seized an Apple mobile phone, a Xiaomi mobile phone, a Huawei laptop, a Toshiba mobile hard drive, USB sticks, keyboards, and other items.
3. The "remote crime scene investigation record" produced by the public security agency confirmed public security agency undertook a network remote crime scene investigation to collect several hundred articles from defendant Ruan Xiaohuan's blog. Included among these were over 100 articles implicating politics.
4. The "forensic report" issued by the public security agency confirmed that, based on forensics, it could not be ruled out that the biological substances in the cotton swabs of the Acer laptop keyboards and external keyboards were left by defendant Ruan Xiaohuan.
5. The "Judicial Forensic Opinion Report" issued by the Shanghai Hong Electronic Data Judicial Forensic Institute and copies of the articles implicating politics confirmed that, based on forensics, more than a dozen virtual machines, hundreds of blog posts, etc. were detected on Ruan Xiaohuan's Acer laptop. ".XML" format files were discovered on the computer.
6."Electronic Data Investigation Experiment Record" and optical discs produced by the public security agency confirmed that, after logging in to the blog as a blogger, you can download and generate a blog post template file in ".XML" format through the "Backup" function of the blog, which stores all the blog post content published by the blog and the configuration information of the blog. Ordinary Internet users browsing the blogs as visitors would not be able to download and generate the aforementioned template files.
7. The testimony of witness [REDACTED IN ORIGINAL] Bei confirmed that the north room in the common residence Bei shares with her husband Ruan Xiaohuan is Ruan's study, and the study and the items in the room are used by him.
8. After being taken into police custody, defendant Ruan Xiaohuan fully confessed to the fact that he used his personal blog over a long period of time to distribute a large volume of articles implicating politics, and inciting subversion of state power and the overthrow the socialist order. Ruan Xiaohuan also undertook to read and sign the over 100 blog posts implicating politics that had been taken into custody, affirming that they were written by him.
All of the foregoing evidence was produced and examined in court, and is confirmed by this Court.
This Court finds defendant Ruan Xiaohuan incited subversion of state power and the overthrow of the socialist system through manufacturing rumors, defamation, and other means, and his actions constitute the commission of the crime of inciting subversion of state power. Ruan Xiaohuan committed crimes over a long period of time, the number of articles he posted was large, their influence was offensive, and constituted a major offense. The offense charged by the public prosecution agency is established. Given that defendant Ruan Xiaohuan made truthful statements regarding the criminal facts after being taken into police custody, in accordance with the law he can be given a lighter punishment. Defense counsel's opinion requesting a lighter punishment be given can be adopted. In accordance with the provisions of Articles 105(2), 113(2), 67(3), 56(1), 55(1), and 64 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China," the judgment is as follows:
1. Defendant Ruan Xiaohuan committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power, and is sentenced to a fixed term imprisonment of seven years and two years deprivation of political rights, and confiscation of property valued at 20,000 renminbi.
(The prison term is to be calculated starting on the day the judgment is executed, and each day in custody prior to the execution of the judgment shall count as one day of the prison term, that is from May 10, 2021 to May 9, 2028.)
2. Tools used in the commission of the crime, including computers and other materials taken into custody, shall be confiscated.
If any party does not accept this judgment, they may within 10 days after the second day after receiving this written judgment bring an appeal through this Court or directly to the High People's Court of Shanghai. A written appeal should be submitted with one original and one copy of the appeal brief.
Chief Adjudicator Wei Dong
Adjudicator Sun Ye
Adjudicator Zheng Wang
February 10, 2023
Clerk Xia Jing