China clears bloggers who criticized government

Beijing may be allowing more free speech, though within clear limits

Two Chinese bloggers separately detained for writing online about government corruption have had their charges dropped by police in recent weeks.

The cases reflect a possible move by Beijing to allow more free speech, though within clear limits. Corruption has long plagued China's government, especially in rural areas, and allowing victims to express grievances online and elsewhere could help curb the problem.

Police in northern Henan province have dropped defamation charges against a man they detained earlier this year for posting online about a corrupt village election, state media said Wednesday.

The man claimed that the number of votes for his rival in the election exceeded the size of the village, the China Daily said.

The police who detained the man were disciplined after he gained public support by posting again about the poll, the report said.

Last month, a police official from the province apologized for the detainment of another man who blogged about illegal government land seizures, according to the paper.

A provincial police officer in Henan reached by phone confirmed both cases had occurred, but declined to give details.

China's Internet is heavily patrolled. Sensitive political content is often deleted immediately by authorities, or by companies who could be punished if the content stays on their Web sites.

Beijing may believe a higher level of free speech will serve its interests, said Joshua Rosenzweig, a senior researcher at the Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights advocacy group.

In recent weeks a number of people detained for criticizing local governments have seen their situations improve after news of their cases spread through the press or online, said Rosenzweig.

But any easing on free speech is unlikely to extend to criticisms of the overall government system, Rosenzweig said.

"It looks like it's limited to criticism of local officials," Rosenzweig said. "Despite the small progress, there will continue to be serious limitations."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags censorshipfree speechChinablogs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?