Minitrue: No Unapproved Coverage of Huang Qi Trial

The following 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.

Regarding the case, without exception, no media may report, republish, or comment without prior arrangement. (January 16, 2019) [Chinese]

Huang, an online activist and citizen journalist, stood trial on charges of leaking state secrets on Monday. Roads near the courthouse were blocked and supporters detained. Before the trial, one of his lawyers was stripped of his license for defending him, and his 85-year-old mother has been detained since December 7 after campaigning for his release.

Huang founded the website 64-Tianwang to "stand in solidarity with those who have no power, no money, and no influence." He has been imprisoned twice in the past for postings on sensitive topics such as the June 4, 1989 crackdown and dangerously substandard construction in areas hit by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Commenting in 2015 after the trial of journalist Gao Yu, Amnesty International’s Nicholas Bequelin said that charges "have long been the weapon of choice to silence critics, dissenters, journalists and party foe[s]," and that "the definition of what is a State secret is over-broad and open ended [….] Even publicly available information can be considered a state secret if communicated abroad."

真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.