16-Year-Old Student Arrested For Spreading “Rumor”

16-year-old arrested for spreading rumor

This is what we were afraid of with the anti-rumor campaign: thin-skinned officials out in the middle of nowhere — specifically, places where it’s difficult for watchdog organizations or institutions (media? ha!) or individuals to keep authorities accountable — cracking down on one’s freedom to express anger, frustration, or any host of other very human emotions that this country would prefer stay bottled up in the repressed chambers of our being.

A 16-year-old student in Gansu province (pictured) has been detained for daring to question a police bureau’s investigation — or lack thereof — into the mysterious death of a Jewel Time International Karaoke TV employee. Via Global Voices:

The man, whose surname was Gao, was found dead in the KTV on September 12. The police claimed that Gao committed suicide, but his family and friends questioned the police’s investigation.

Here’s the post in question, as translated by Global Voices:

It seems it is necessary to protest. What happened to Chinese police? What happened to the society? The police were holding shields and rods. What were they doing? Family members of the victim were detained and those who took photos were also detained. WTF. You don’t want the world to know what had happened? What are you afraid of? I am not afraid of you. I took pictures, arrest me, I dare you. May the dead rest in peace.

The anti-rumor campaign was always dangerous because it gave officials the ability to abuse their power, but now there’s another reason to doubt its efficacy: it gives officials an excuse to not do their work. Thoroughly investigate a suspicious death? Why? It’s not like people on social media will call anyone out for it.

The 16-year-old was arrested on September 17 and sentenced to a seven-day detention. He’s since “confessed” to spreading rumors, but no one comes out of this looking good. Here are some netizen responses, again via Global Voices:

Zhou Nan (@周难的微博): “What evidence did the Gansu police use to prove that the mass incident [on September 14] was related to the junior high school student’s posts?”

Lawyer Duo Muqing: “Some legal experts are ambivalent about the arrest of a junior high school kid in Gansu. Some say even if the kid is wrong, the police should not exercise their power to criminalize him. Instead, this is the arena of education. Such comments have created a lot of confusion and should not come from people with legal background. I want to stress that the boy has done nothing wrong and should not be educated. He should be praised and the police should be educated and punished.”

And the best of the lot:

“Brother Star PK dogs” (@大话星哥pk一群狗): “Bad news: They arrested a junior high school kid; Good news: They are afraid of junior high school kids.”

Yeah, they are, aren’t they? Grown adults in charge of this country are afraid of the power wielded from behind the keyboard belonging to a teenager. Think on this. Then consider whether it’s possible — what makes anyone think it’s possible — to suppress this form of expression.

Chinese Teenager Accused of Spreading Rumors Online Arrested (Global Voices) (Image via)

UPDATE, 3:16 pm: So we’re clear: the teen was detained last Tuesday, charged on Sunday night with a seven-day sentence — retroactive to Tuesday, it seems — and released this morning (via Sina).

    13 Responses to “16-Year-Old Student Arrested For Spreading “Rumor””

    1. MrT

      “which is a different matter entirely.”
      In whos eyes?
      They were protesting against the government.
      For the people to uprise and protest.

      • narsfweasels

        In everybody’s eyes except for you, dumbass. “Hey, why wasn’t a murder properly investigated?” Is an entirely different kettle of fish to “Hey,melts go out, burn shit, steal stuff and pretend we’re doing it for politics!”

    2. MrT

      you guys really.
      “Twitter user arrested ‘for revealing identity of Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell’s alleged child sex victim’

      Man, 23, from Greater Manchester, taken into custody this morning
      ‘Sent tweet on day actor, 48, appeared in court to face 19 charges’”
      There been plenty of Twitter arrests in the UK for fuck all.

      I assume you lot work for some gov press agencys or you just plain fucking dumb.

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2286499/Twitter-user-arrested-revealing-identity-Coronation-Street-star-Michael-Le-Vells-alleged-child-sex-victim.html#ixzz2flesD4kO

      • terroir

        “I assume you lot work for some gov press agencys or you just plain fucking dumb.”

        You just said that. Also: he was already a badass, but Peter Dinklage rules.

      • narsfweasels

        And what has that got to do with China, dipshit?

        Was the mother that shit you out so high when she fucked any one of the numerous men that could be your father that it affected the development of your reasoning centres?

        First you bang on about “protesting against the government” and then you suddenly change tack to the revelation of the name of a victim – whose anonymity is protected by law – and use it as an example to… what exactly?

        A teenager, no, a CHILD asked a question and he was arrested for it. That’s fucked up. Like you.

      • narsfweasels

        Hey braindeath, I can’t read those articles because the internet shuts down every time I click through the links on Google. Why is that? Is it because the government is so fuck-scared of its own shadow that it has to censor everything, including children?

        • RhZ

          All they know how to do is lock shit up tight through liberal applications of violence and murder. Then, when it inevitably blows up in their faces, you know it will all be the fault of those foreign agitators and NED money that is to blame. The party can do no wrong.


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