Minitrue: Pollution Lawsuit, Smog Classification
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
Departments responsible for Beijing:
- Regarding lawyers suing the governments of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province for not fulfilling their pollution management responsibilities, without exception do not report and do not forward online information.
- Regarding the “Beijing Municipal Meteorological Disaster Prevention Statute (Draft)” plans to include smog on a list of meteorological disasters, all media must refrain from comment. (December 20, 2016) [Chinese]
As northeastern China was beginning to experience the exceptionally heavy smog characteristic of the winter season last month, a group of five lawyers filed a lawsuit against the governments of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei for not successfully implementing their environmental laws.
Beijing last month also released plans to list smog as a “meteorological disaster,” a move that experts criticized and some Chinese media outlets initially reported as “controversial.”
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.