The past few weeks have been rife with news about people getting into trouble because of their tweets, but this appears to be the harshest punishment dolled out recently: A Chinese bride was arrested – on her wedding day – because of something she retweeted. The authorities have sentenced her to one year of hard labor to “re-educate” her. Amnesty has stepped in to plead for the woman’s rights, but thus far authorities aren’t budging.
Cheng Jianping, whose Twitter name and profile picture are pictured above, is the fiancée of a Chinese activist. She retweeted a message that her soon-to-be-husband had tweeted, in what she called a satirical attempt at humor when interviewed by the BBC. The Washington Post reports that the tweet read:
“Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products, that was all done years ago by Guo Quan [an activist and expert on the Nanjing Massacre]. It’s no new trick. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you’d immediately fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion.”
And that Cheng had added “Charge, angry youth!” at the end of the retweet.
It should be noted that Twitter is completely banned in China, but that many people are able to access it by circumventing state-implemented barriers.
Ten days after the offending Tweet, Cheng disappeared on what was to be her wedding day, according to Amnesty International, and resurfaced in a labor camp after having been sentenced by local police without trial.
Image courtesy of the Washington Post
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