The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Central Propaganda Department: All media and websites must exercise caution while gathering material and reporting news on the December 5 death of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Do not emphasize Mandela’s opinions on issues of human rights and democracy. Pay special attention to image and video releases. Do not touch upon content related to Mandela’s association with the Dalai Lama or relationship with Taiwan. Do not reprint material or hype Mandela’s personal matrimonial life. (December 9, 2013)
After the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, he was honored by Chinese dissidents and China’s official media alike. While state media drew parallels between the late revolutionary and Mao Zedong and praised South Africa’s establishment of relations with the PRC during Mandela’s presidency, dissidents commended Mandela’s activism and saw a more apt parallel between the Nobel laureate/former political prisoner and Liu Xiaobo.
A spokesperson representing the Dalai Lama said the Tibetan spiritual leader will not be attending Mandela’s December 15 memorial service in South Africa. The Dalai Lama was denied a South African entry visa in 2009 and again in 2011. China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao will be attending Mandela’s memorial.
After Ukrainian President Yanukovich met with Russian President Putin last week to lay plans for a “strategic partnership,” protestors in Kiev tore down a statue of Vladimir Lenin on Sunday.
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
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.