Daily Management Review

After Reporter and Financial Executives, 197 Detained in China for Spreading On-line Rumours


09/01/2015




After Reporter and Financial Executives, 197 Detained in China for Spreading On-line Rumours
197 people in China have been charged and punished allegedly for committing crimes related to spreading of rumours on-line. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security, while announcing this did not give details but sources said that the accused have been detained.

The accused have been charged of spreading on-line rumours in relation to three incidents – the continuing stock market uncertainty in China, the recent industrial explosions in Tianjin and the military parade scheduled for Thursday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II said the ministry communiqué on Sunday. The detentions and the punishments were part of a "specia campaign" by the police, reported Xinhua, the state-run news agency on Monday.

For many political analysts, the punishments are indications of the political sensitivities among a section of the population as well as the government, especially after acquisitions of government inaction in the wake of economical slowdown and consequent historic fall in the Chinese share market.

The severity and the political sensitivity of the issues were reflected by the possible shadowing of the military parade as a bravado display of nationalism and scheduled Mr. Xi’s first state visit to the United States in September. Both the scheduled events are under shadow following the various crises that have shaken China in recent months.

The sensitivity regarding the recent market collapse and allegations of an economical slowdown were evident from the incident of the forced confession of a reporter of a respected business magazine about sensationalizing and being irresponsible about reporting about the stock market crisis. The reporter Wang Xiaolu of the business Caijing, was reportedly made to appear on television and make the confessions about his articles in the magazine. The confessions were broadcast on Monday on China Central Television, the main state network of the country.

An article written by Wang Ziaolu, published on July 20 by Caijing, had claimed that the China Securities Regulatory Commission was seeking to withdraw funds from the stock market. He was detained on Aug. 25 following which the magazine, Caijing, issued a statement claiming not to know the reasons for Xiaolu’s detention. The article, which could be viewed til last Friday, was later pulled down.

The state television Xinhua claimed that the article by Xiaolu in the July edition of the magazine had caused “abnormal fluctuations” in the stock market.

Appearing in a light-green polo shirt rather than the orange prison garb, Xiaolu sought leniency in the video tape. Other detainees who have made confessions on the television network recently had worn orange prison grabs.

The network has been used in recent years by the Chinese government for confessions by detainees to humiliate the detainees and hold up their cases as warnings for others. These happened without any criminal proceedings having taken place.

Last week, several financial officials and executives were detained along with Xiaolu, allegedly for contributing to the stock market gyrations. They have been charged and dealt with by "criminal compulsory measures", according to Xinhua.

Liu Shufan, an official with the China Securities Regulatory Commission and four executives from the Citic Securities Company were among those detained last week. These detainments were followed by Sunday’s reported detainment of 197 people allegedly on charges of spreading rumour. The fate of those detained are yet to be known.

 (Source:www.nytimes.com) 






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