Singer Wu Hongfei has been detained since July 25 for “causing trouble” and “making up false terrorism information” after posting on weibo that she would like to blow up government housing commission offices. Wu’s lawyers are now contending that she was simply expressing frustration, and that her posts should fall under “freedom of speech on the internet.” In related news, Wu may need better lawyers.
The singer’s comments came in the wake of Beijing airport-bomber Ji Zhongxing’s story being released to the public, and Wu expressed support for the man and his struggles against police brutality. South China Morning Post translated Wu’s lawyers’ statement and reports:
“This case is significant in terms of clarifying the differences between freedom of expression on the internet and a criminal offence,” Wu’s lawyers said in a statement. “We firmly believe that – based on existing information – Wu has committed no crime.”
On her microblog, Wu wrote: “The places I want to blow up include a residential committee at the Beijing Personnel Exchange Centre and the fxxxing [sic] Housing commission offices. And there’s one person I want to bomb, I wont tell who he is. You’ll find that in the news.” […]
“‘Terrorism information’ refers to comments such as ‘I installed a bomb somewhere’ or ‘a deadly infectious disease is spreading’, which would cause public panic,” said lawyer Yuan Yulai , who is not representing Wu. “But Wu was only saying she ‘feels like doing something’. The difference is obvious.”
This author is no legal expert, but any weibo post that begins with “The places I want to blow up…” probably does violate at least a few of China’s restrictive speech laws.
[Image via Mask9]