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China arrests activist for single tweet

world Updated: Nov 20, 2010 02:36 IST

Reuters
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Chinese authorities have handed out a year-long labour re-education sentence to an online activist for posting on Twitter a satirical message urging people to attack Japan’s pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.

Amnesty International said that Cheng Jianping, who uses the online pseudonym Wang Yi, was given the sentence for “disturbing social order”.

Cheng’s message was a reposting of her fiance’s tweet, poking fun at Chinese who smashed up Japanese goods during recent protests in China following a dispute between Beijing and Tokyo over islets in the East China Sea, Amnesty said.

The original tweet read: “Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products, that was all done years ago ... It’s not a new trick. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you’d immediately fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion”.

Cheng added the phrase: “Angry youth, charge!”, the group said. Her tweet was only retweeted by three people.

“Cheng may be the first Chinese citizen to become a prisoner of conscience on the basis of a single tweet,” Amnesty said in an emailed statement.

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