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: Regarding the series of upcoming 21st Century Business Herald verdicts, all websites report in strict accordance with Xinhua News Agency and Shanghai Court weibo posts. Do not hype, and do not send reporters to gather news. (December 23, 2015) [Chinese]
The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court sentenced the former head of the 21st Century Media Company to four years in prison on December 24. Shen is one of dozens of company executives at the liberal media group to have been prosecuted this year. After Shen’s arrest in September 2014, experts voiced suspicion that he had been singled out due to his aggressive reporting style. The AFP reports:
Shen Hao, former president of 21st Century Media, was convicted of extortion and blackmail, “forced transactions” and embezzlement, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court said in a statement on its official social media account.
The verdict comes at a time when China’s government is exerting tighter controls over the media — already one of the most restricted in the world.
Shen is one of the 30 executives at the company, its website and related publications prosecuted by authorities earlier this year.
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