The 16-year-old who was detained on September 21 for ‘rumor mongering’ and breaking China’s new 500/5000 retweet law has been released by authorities, who evidently realized that locking up random junior high school students is something of a dick move.
The teen, surnamed Yang, was detained after he posted that police reports of a suicide in Gansu were incorrect, and that the man in question had been murdered. Reuters reports:
Police said the man committed suicide by jumping from a high-rise building on September 12, after a visit to a karaoke club and that Yang’s “phony” posts had prompted some residents to stage a protest.
Yang had served a week-long detention for “administrative infractions”, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. He was initially detained on a charge of “provoking trouble”.
“In light of Yang being a teenager, his active compliance with the investigation, his sincere regret for the crime and the circumstances of being a minor, local police withdrew the criminal case and handed down a lenient punishment,” Xinhua said.
It looks as though Yang’s case may have just a muscle-flexing exercise by authorities, who have now proven that they can and will make arrests for breaking China’s new wonderfully draconian censorship laws.