Minitrue: Arrests of Retired Soldier Protesters
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: The procuratorate arrested a small number of suspects who, under the banner of “retired soldiers,” violated the law and committed serious violent crimes. Use only the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, and CCTV transcripts. Without unified arrangements, do not report or post commentary, do not link it to other incidents related to retired military personnel, do not alter the title or modify excerpts. (January 26, 2019) [Chinese]
Nineteen people have been arrested for their alleged role in protests in cities across China last year demanding better treatment of veterans. Japan’s NHK reports:
State-run China Central Television reported on Saturday that prosecutors granted approval for the 19 to be arrested on suspicion of organizing large-scale protests and disturbing social order.
CCTV said that ten of them are suspected of having disseminated false information to win supporters before they staged protests against the local government in the city of Pingdu, Shandong Province, in October.
Prosecutors say they allegedly lied about being beaten by officials when they tried to submit a petition and that they are also suspected of committing acts of violence against police.
The remaining nine people are suspected of organizing a protest involving more than 1,000 people in front of a government office in the city of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, last June. [Source]
Veterans and retired military personnel in various regions of China have staged protests against insufficient pensions and welfare support over the last few years. Similar propaganda directives banning reporting on veteran protests were issued in November and December 2018.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. 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. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.