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.
All websites, please close comments on the article “Man Sentenced to 14 Months for Splashing Ink on Tiananmen Portrait of Chairman Mao.” Do not hype related topics. (April 23rd, 2015) [Chinese]
Global Times reports that 42-year-old Sun Bing was sentenced for throwing an ink bottle at the iconic portrait on March 6 last year. His punishment for “making a mess and causing public disorder” was reportedly increased in light of a previous conviction for credit card fraud. The ink attack took place during the annual session of the National People’s Congress at the nearby Great Hall of the People, a day after an alleged self-immolation on the square.
The portrait’s prominence has made it a tempting target: a protester threw ink at it in 2010, while another apparently tried to set it alight in 2007. In 1989, three students threw ink-filled eggs at the painting, and were sentenced to between 16 years and life in prison after their fellow protesters turned them in. The last of them, Yu Dongyue, was released early in 2006, having served 17 years.
In 2012, Andy Warhol’s Mao portraits were excluded from a touring exhibition on instructions from the Ministry of Culture, which apparently saw the colorful paint daubed across the Great Helmsman as a sign of disrespect.
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