China: media worker reporting corruption imprisonedEvent
- Initial Date
- Jan 7, 2021
- Event Description
On Jan. 7, the Pizhou Municipal People's Court in the eastern province of Jiangsu jailed journalist Li Xinde for five years after finding him guilty of "illegal business activity."
Li’s son Li Chao was handed a one-year jail term at the same time.
'A very dangerous business'
Li was first detained by police in October 2019 and placed in "residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL)," not long after he published a claim that a court in Tianjin had wrongfully convicted a businessman.
Li, an investigative reporter, founded and ran the China Public Watchdog Network, which had a focus on exposing corrupt officials.
Beijing-based rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan commented via Twitter: "To speak out on behalf of those suffering injustice in today's society, and to monitor the agencies wielding state power, is a very dangerous business."
Zhang Yu, who heads the writers' group Independent Chinese PEN, said charges of "illegal business activity" are often brought against peaceful critics of the CCP.
"The main charge used to suppress freedom of speech in China is incitement to subvert state power, but they have to show in what part of their speech or writing they did that," Zhang told RFA.
"They may use illegal business activity if what they said was particularly sensitive, or if they can't really find evidence to support [subversion] charges in what they said or wrote," Zhang said. "It has nothing to do with [the defendant] actually having conducted illegal business activity."
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Media Worker
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 7 January 2021, Li Xinde, media worker, was sentenced to 5-year jail term for foundign and leading a metwork reporting corruption cases of officials by a court in Pizhou, China.