2013年9月13日 星期五

China's crackdown on activists 中國網路與輿論大緊張: 当局全面管控


Multi-millionaire investor detained in China's crackdown on activists

Campaigners warn that Chinese police are cracking down on activists after 'gathering crowds' arrest of Wang Gongquan

Police officers china detain multi-millionaire investor
Wang Gongquan, who was taken into custody on Friday, said: 'Some have called my comments radical. I don’t feel radical at all.' Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters
Chinese police have detained a multimillionaire investor in what human rights campaigners warn is a broadening crackdown on activists.
Wang Gongquan was taken into custody by up to 20 Beijing police officers on Friday on suspicion of "gathering a crowd to disrupt public order", according to supporters.
His friend Xu Zhiyong, a well-known lawyer and leading member of a grassroots grouping supporting civil society, was formally arrested on the same charge last month after weeks in detention.
"Wang was summoned at noon … it was because he has taken part in social activities, human rights activities with Xu Zhiyong," said lawyer Teng Biao.
Human Rights Watch said earlier this week that 17 members of the loosely organised New Citizens movement are among 55 people detained since spring for organising collective actions of various kinds, including protests. Sixteen of those have since been released, some on bail, but friends are increasingly concerned that others will be indicted, tried and jailed.
Activists fear the moves are part of a broader tightening of the political environment by the new leadership under Xi Jinping, including the curbing of online dissent.
"There is no doubt that this is a step up in the suppression of critical voices in China," said Nicholas Bequelin, a senior Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.
"You have a twin push in the real world and the virtual world. Anywhere you look at the moment − it's the same direction.
"Suddenly people who were somewhat tolerated before find themselves vulnerable − and all of this is happening while China is seeking a seat on the human rights council at the United Nations," Bequelin added, saying that the current push was more than a cyclical crackdown on dissent.
Chinese scholars have also expressed concern about increased pressure on academics. Unusually, the state-run English news website China Daily also reported on Wang's detention, although it said police had taken him for "unknown reasons".
In an interview with the South China Morning Post in July, Wang said: "In today's China people are getting arrested every day. It's impractical for one to claim that he has no fears. But I may not be as scared as many others, because I have been involved in such matters for years − meetings and discussions."
The 51-year-old added: "For a long time I have been harshly criticising some problems in the government, including in the ruling party. Some have called my comments radical. I don't feel radical at all. I think some entrepreneurs fear too much."
Some think Wang is being punished in part for pressing for Xu's release and releasing a video showing his friend, speaking inside jail, urging citizens to pursue their rights. Sui Muqing, a lawyer acting for Guo Feixiong − another detained rights advocate − suggested the government might be seeking to discourage business people from financially supporting activists.
Guo was detained on the "gathering crowds" charge in mid-August but Sui's requests to meet his client have been rejected four times, the lawyer said.
Backers have said that the New Citizens movement operates within the constitution, but its popularity appears to have roused the concern of authorities. Hundreds of supporters turned up to its informal dinners.
Members also called on officials to publicly disclose their assets − a message clearly unwelcome to authorities despite the new leadership's pledge to root out corruption.
Liu Ping, an activist from Jiangxi who held a protest demanding such disclosure in April, has been indicted for illegal assembly, gathering a crowd to disrupt public order and using a cult to damage enforcement of the law, Human Rights in China reported last month.
Wang, a venture capitalist, is one of a number of business people who have become increasingly bold in their calls for reform and criticism of the government. But authorities this week underlined their determination to rein in "big Vs" − verified users with large followings − by issuing a new judicial interpretation warning people may be charged with defamation if they post rumours which are read by 5,000 users or forwarded more than 500 times.
Microbloggers also voiced intense scepticism after Chinese-born American investor Xue Manzi, or Charles Xue, was detained in Beijing last month on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes. Many suspected the decision to parade him on television was intended to deter other prominent figures from his brand of caustic commentary.


对边民的刑拘距离另一位微博大V、美籍华人"薛蛮子"(本名薛必群,Charles Xue)因嫖娼罪被捕仅仅不到一个月的时间。虽然边民的微博粉丝有4万多,这样的数字与薛蛮子等大V动辄数百万甚至上千万的关注人数相比并不算惊人,但是 他曾因昆明"躲猫猫"事件中发挥重要作用而成为网络名人,后来又在"小学生卖淫案"等事件中表现活跃,在网络上享有一定的号召力和影响力。
今年8月,在被视为网络意见领袖的薛蛮子以嫖娼罪名被警方逮捕之后,边民也在微博上发表多篇博文对当局的做法予以调侃和讽刺。8月29日,边民突然发表一 篇微博并将其"置顶",写道:"本人系"云南边民文化传播有限公司"法定代表人,在我未接到任何法律手续情况下,据悉(我未在办公室)今早有数名男子搜查 我公司办公场所并带走三台电脑。是否有员工被带走正在核实中。"紧接着,他甚至直接对自己即将面临的命运作了大胆的猜测:"我在想会是什么罪名往我头上按 呢?卖淫嫖娼、赌博、吸毒贩毒、偷税漏税、寻衅滋事、造谣、网络黑社会……?"
本周中国最高人民法院发布司法解释称,互联网用户散布的谣言或诽谤性内容被点击5000次以上或转发500次以上,有可能最高获刑三年。随后,地产大亨、 同为微博大V的潘石屹就相关话题接受了中央电视台的采访,在访谈过程中情绪紧张导致出现口吃,引起媒体的广泛关注和网民的热议。
9月10日,潘石屹自己在微博中写道:"昨晚,我给一大V的朋友打电话说: CCTV要采访我关于司法解释的事,我很紧张。我应该怎么说呢?他说:你千万不要接受采访。我说:来不及了,他们正在20米处向我走来。他说:那你就说造 谣诽谤可耻。"他所指的这个朋友是搜狐副总裁刘春。在采访结束之后,潘又发微博写道:"刚才接受完CCTV的釆访。问题都很难。"
Anwalt Xu Zhiyong 
Thema Menschenrechtsanwälte China - Bilder von DW-Korrespondentin Ruth Kirchner, April 2010 身陷囹圄的许志永
一系列事件显示,中国当局正在全面收紧对于网络舆论的控制,加强对于异议人士的打压。"王小渔在海边"新浪认证微博写道:"薛蛮子嫖娼嫖上了新闻联播,潘 石屹结巴结上了CCTV。王功权因涉嫌扰乱公共场所秩序今天被二十余名警察从北京寓所带走。难道,不嫖娼的、不结巴的就要因扰乱公共场所秩序而进监狱吗? 我想每个人都是怕的,但绝对不是每个人都会因为害怕而跪着活。"