Ministry of Truth: Merchant Killed by Chengguan
Warning: Some of the images shown below are graphic.
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
State Council Information Office: All websites are asked to remove from their homepages the story of the melon grower beaten to death by chengguan in Linwu County, Chenzhou City, Hunan Province. Do not make special topic pages, and do not post video or images. Delete any such previous posts. (July 18, 2013)
Deng Zhengjia, a watermelon seller, was beaten to death by city management officials (chengguan) on Wednesday. Locals protected his body from being taken by authorities, leading to clashes with the police. Keywords related to the incident are among the top ten Weibo topics: “Linwu” (临武) is fourth, followed by “melon grower Deng Zhengjia’s daughter” (瓜农邓正加女儿) and “chengguan beat melon grower to death” (城管打死瓜农). A Weibo discussion page about the incident is still accessible as of posting.
Chengguan, who operate separately from the police, are notorious for their violent treatment of street vendors.
CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date on CDT Chinese is noted after the directives; 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.