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 media, including new media, must without exception not report, discuss, or republish [information] regarding the detention of Southern Metropolis News reporter Liu Wei. (October 16, 2015)
- If reporting on the detention of Southern Metropolis News reporter Liu Wei, do so in strict accordance with Xinhua News Agency print and broadcast material. Do not give prominence to the story, and do not feature other reports or commentary. (October 18, 2015) [Chinese]
Southern Metropolis News’ journalist and deputy-director Liu Wei was detained on October 8 by police in Jiangxi under suspicion of illegally obtaining state secrets. Early this year, Liu reported on self-described qigong master Wang Lin’s ties to business and Party leaders (Wang was detained in July in alleged connection to a murder case). The Ministry of Public Security will reportedly be taking Liu’s case over from the Jiangxi police.
On October 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists called for the immediate release of Liu Wei, executive director Joel Simon saying that “China is criminalizing basic reporting. The government’s interpretation of state secrets has grown so broad that it now encompasses routine criminal justice matters.”
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. 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.