A 46-year-old Chinese woman, Cheng Jianping, has been sentenced without trial to one year of “Re-education Through labour” after retweeting one of her fiance’s tweets.
During the dispute between China and Japan last month over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Chinese nationalist youths protested by smashing Japanese products. Hua Chunhui, who tweets as “wxhch,” thought this was funny, and tweeted the following:
Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products, that was all done years ago by Guo Quan [an activist and expert on the Nanjing Massacre]. It’s no 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 Jianping retweeted his tweet as “wangyi09,” adding five extra characters, translated as to “Charge, angry youth.”
Cheng and her fiance disappeared 10 days later — on what was supposed to be their wedding day. Hua was released five days later without legal repercussions, whereas Cheng’s whereabouts remained a mystery until it came out this week that she was detained and sentenced by local police for “for “disturbing social order.”
Twitter is banned in China, although it is widely accessed and used. The BBC reports that Cheng may have been targeted for her minor human rights activism.
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