Government authorities yesterday issued censorship instructions to Chinese media surrounding coverage of the Xu Zhiyong case that has now been leaked online.
China Digital Times collected the instructions, often referred to as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth“, from various sources:
State Council Information Office: Authoritative sources covering the Xu Zhiyong case must prevail on all websites. Do not hype or highlight the story. Interactive platforms must delete related commentary, especially the two essays [by Xu] “Please Believe That Our Right to Vote Is Real” [“Why I Am Running for National People’s Representative” (我为什么竞选人大代表)] and “For Freedom, Justice, and Love—My Closing Statement to the Court.” (January 26, 2014)
Xu, founder of the New Citizens’ Movement, was sentenced to four years in prison by the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on Sunday for “gathering crowds to disrupt public order”.
Media have said that the verdict “marked the end of an era in Chinese activism” and the outcome has glaringly undermined Xi Jinping’s highly touted campaign against corruption.
Xu’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, told reporters that his client’s trial was a “laughing stock”, the results of which were predetermined by the Chinese Communist Party.
“The last remaining dignity of China’s legal system has been destroyed,” Zhang quoted Xu as saying, adding that the conviction was “illegal, unreasonable and unfair”.
“Everything in this trial has violated what the leader of China and the court have been preaching in the last year,” New York University law professor Jerome Cohen, a prominent authority on Chinese law, told SCMP. “This case, with all the procedural violations and the lack of transparency, has been a repudiation of the party line.”