Shaanxi 13 netizens accused of “spreading overseas information” sentenced for “seeking nuisance”

Thirteen netizens in China’s Shaanxi province have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one and a half to three years after being accused of “attacking the government, party and state leaders” by spreading so-called “political information from abroad” on social media.

According to Friday’s news, Xianyang netizens Chen Yingjun, Wang Xingjie and 13 others were arrested in April last year and sentenced in September 2020 by a Xianyang district court for “provoking and provoking trouble,” a crime denounced as a “pocket crime.

The first time I was in the hospital, I had to go to the hospital to see a doctor. “, disrupting social order. According to the verdict, Lei, the owner of this QQ group, has died. It is “unclear whether the cause of death is related to this case,” the verdict said.

QQ groups are a public platform for multiple people to chat and exchange ideas, and group owners can invite friends or people with common interests to chat in a group after creating a group.

Of the 13 people, Chen Yingjun was sentenced to three years in prison, the heaviest sentence. Rights Defense Network said Chen Yingjun refused to have a public defender assigned to defend him before the trial, saying he wanted to defend himself. During the trial, Chen Yingjun only “chanted slogans” and did not defend himself, resulting in the heaviest sentence. Wang Xingjie and Lu Xianghui were sentenced to one year and nine months until January 28, 2021; Liu Xiang, Zhou Yu, Zhu Yuanliang, Li Haoxuan, Xu Haibo, Li Taiying, Zhou Fubing, Pan Jian and eight others were sentenced to one year and seven months until November 28, 2020; Liao Huanhua and Wu Gang were sentenced to one year and six months until October 28, 2020. Liao Huanhua and Wugang have been released.

According to the verdict, between 2018 and 2019, netizens surnamed Lei browsed overseas websites through wall-climbing software and forwarded “false information” (including text, pictures and videos) about overseas politics through multiple QQ groups they created, and also sent them via private chat to eight people, including defendant Chen Yingjun of the second tier, who forwarded and spread them to more QQ groups according to Lei’s request; five people of the third tier, including one of the defendants Li Taiying, continued to spread the “false messages” to more QQ groups again.

Controlling the spread of messages is considered the cornerstone of Chinese governance under Xi Jinping’s rule to control the thoughts and actions of Chinese people. In recent years, China has introduced a number of laws and regulations to control the spread of information, from China’s Regulations on the Management of Group Information Services on the Internet, which came into effect on October 8, 2017, to China’s Regulations on the Ecological Governance of Online Information Content, which came into effect on March 1 this year, showing that the Chinese authorities are tightening their grip on the thoughts and speech of their citizens. The “Regulations on Ecological Governance of Internet Information Content”, which came into effect this year, is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and stringent measures of Internet censorship and information control ever launched by the CCP.

There are seven chapters and 42 articles in the “Regulations on Ecological Governance of Online Information Content”. The main content is to promote the positive energy of Xi Jinping’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and all other expressions of thought and dissemination of information are considered illegal. In the words of a Chinese netizen, “There will be only good news from now on”.