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China: Beijing Twitterer Detained for Writing Micro-fiction

Written by Oiwan Lam On 18 November 2012 @ 7:28 am | 11 Comments

In Activism, Advocacy, Arrest and Harassment, China, Feature, Free Expression, Law, Threatened Voices

A Beijing Twitterer @Stariver has been detained since November 7th, 2012, at the eve of the 18th National Chinese Communist Party Congress. According to his friends who visited his family on November 17, the excuse provided by the police officers was that @stairver was “involved in spreading false and terrible information” online.

The so-called “false and terrible” information is most likely concerning a micro-fiction tweet [zh] that copies the genre of Hollywood movie “Final Destination” on November 4th 2012. The fictional writing is about the 18th Congress:

#剧透推 #慎入 死神来了6即将上映。大会堂突然倒塌,正在开会的2000多人只有7人幸免,事后却又一一离奇死亡。是上帝的游戏,还是死神的怒火,神秘数字18怎样开启地狱之门?11月8日全球院线震撼登场!

#Tweet on Drame #Warning graphic “Final Destination 6” is about to put on show. The Great Hall of the People collapses all of a sudden. All 2,000 plus people in the meeting died instantly there except for 7 of them. But the seven died one after another in mystery. Is it a game of God, or the wrath of Death? How did the mysterious number 18 unlock the gate of Hell? Premieres globally on November the 8th. Bring you the most shocking scene!

According to @mozhixu [zh], @stariver's real name is Zhai Xiaobing (翟小兵)born in 1976. Currently live in Miyun District, Beijing. He is a manager of an investment company, graduated from Peaking University and a former media worker.

@Stariver's friends and family did not publicize his arrest believing that he will be released after the 18th Congress on November 14. Yet there is no sign for his release.

Hong Kong base Twitter @wenyunchao hence organized an online joint signature campaign [zh] calling for his release on November 17, 2012. The campaign statement quotes Liu Yanping who pointed out:

“‘散布虚假恐怖信息’是指刑法第二百九十一所指的“编造爆炸威胁、生化威胁、放射威胁等恐怖信息,并严重扰乱社会秩序”。从该条推文内容来看,明确指出为虚构,不会引起惶恐。从结果来看,没有构成扰乱社会秩序。这样的指控是荒谬的。”

在此,郑重要求北京警方拿出点幽默感,切勿小题大作,特别是不要在“十八大”刚开完的时候毁灭公众对新执政层的善意期待,以这种莫须有的方式对普通公民的正当言论自由加以限制和迫害。呼吁北京警方立即无条件释放推特网友“星河舰队”。

‘The so-called “spreading false and terrible information” refers to the criminal law number 291: “fabrication of terrorist information about bomb, chemical and radiative attack that results in serious disruption of social order”. Judging from the content of the tweet, it has already claimed it is a fiction and will not generate fear. The result has not caused any disruption of social order. The charge is bizarre.’

We hope the the Beijing police shows a sense of humor and do not create a big incident out of a small issue. In particular, do not ruin the image of the new leadership soon after the 18th Party Congress. Such groundless prosecution against citizen who exercise their freedom of expression is disgraceful. We urge the immediate release of Twitter user @stariver.

Another Twitterer @Badiucao designs a poster for “Final Destination 6″ to mock at the bizarre arrest:


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