Chinese woman sent to labor camp for retweeting

China has sentenced a woman to a year in a labor camp for "disrupting social order" by retweeting a satirical message urging Chinese protesters to smash the Japan pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, an international rights group said.

Cheng Jianping, 46, re-posted a message from the social networking site Twitter last month hinting that Chinese protesters should smash the Japan pavilion at the Shanghai Expo and adding on the message "Angry youth, charge!" according to Amnesty International, which condemned the sentence in a statement late Thursday.



Amnesty and Cheng's fiance said her retweet was meant as satire, mocking anti-Japanese protesters who had grown in number since tensions between the countries increased after a dispute erupted in September over islands claimed by both Japan and China.



"Sentencing someone to a year in a labor camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person's clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China's repression of online expression," Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director Sam Zarifi said in a statement.



Cheng's fiance, Hua Chunhui, said he thought the government reacted the way it did to the tweet was because they are activists. The two had planned to get their marriage license 28 October, the same day Cheng was detained.



"My personal opinion is that this sentencing wasn't about this one statement. The government wants to make an example of us activists," said Hua, who lives in Wuxi in China's eastern province of Jiangsu. "The government doesn't like what we do. We actively communicate with other Chinese activists and celebrated on Twitter Liu Xiaobo's Nobel prize."

Hua told The Associated Press that he posted the original tweet because he was mad at all the anti-Japanese protests.

"So I posted that message on Twitter, satirically saying that if they really want to do something big, they should just get on a plane and attack the Japan pavilion at the expo. Of course, that is not possible."

The Shanghai Expo was a major event treated with great sensitivity by China and any threats against it would have been taken seriously by the government. Authorities pulled out all the stops to make sure it was a success and imposed heavy security to ensure there were no disruptions. More than 70 million people visited it before it closed at the end of October after its six-month run.

Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Twitter is blocked in China, but some human rights activists use it by bypassing government controls.

Hua said his fiance arrived at a labor re-education center in central China's Henan Province on Wednesday evening. He said he is not allowed to visit her.

Cheng's sentencing comes as China is under fire for its hardline reaction to the Liu's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. A Nobel official said Thursday that the award and prize may not be able to be handed out this year because China is not likely to let anyone from Liu's family attend the ceremony.

Outraged by the award, Beijing has reportedly clamped down on Liu's relatives and pressured other countries not to send representatives to the 10 December award ceremony in Oslo.

The prestigious 10 million kronor (£907,000) award can only be collected by the laureate or close family members.



Liu, a Chinese dissident, is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion after co-authoring an appeal calling for reforms to China's one-party political system. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest and subject to police escort since the award was announced last month.

ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

    SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before