Printer Friendly

Chinese web users demonstrate their strength

Chinese web users are claiming a temporary victory against censorship after taking up the case of a young woman accused of murdering a local official who she says tried to force himself on her.

In what has rapidly become the hottest topic on the Internet, chatroom users and blogs have lionised 22-year-old Deng Yuqiao as a heroine for fighting back against what they say is China's over-bearing and corrupt bureaucracy.

In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Tiananmen Square, large public square in Beijing, China, on the southern edge of the Inner or Tatar City. The square, named for its Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen), contains the monument to the heroes of the revolution, the Great Hall of the People, the museum of  crackdown, the web, which is much less rigorously controlled than traditional media, has been abuzz with a different David and Goliath David and Goliath are figures of a well-known tale in the Bible (1 Samuel 17, in most English language versions), wherein David, an Israelite shepherd-boy and future King of Israel.  tale.

Three weeks ago, Deng, an employee of a hotel sauna in the city of Baodong in the central province of Hubei, stabbed a local official to death with a kitchen knife.

She handed herself in to police, telling officers she had been fighting off a man who was determined to force himself on her sexually.

However, she was quickly accused of murder -- an offence punishable by death in China.

Web users soon latched on to the story, which struck a chord with many in this authoritarian nation -- a corrupt local cadre who assumed he could get what he wanted because of his position, and the young employee who dared to fight back.

Saunas are often used as fronts for brothels BROTHELS, crim. law. Bawdy-houses, the common habitations of prostitutes; such places have always been deemed common nuisances in the United States, and the keepers of them may be fined and imprisoned.
 in China, although it was unclear if the business Deng worked for belonged in that category.

After writing about the story, well-known blogger Tu Fu, known as the "Bandit bandit: see brigandage.  that chases the wind" went to the hospital where Deng had been admitted after the incident to be treated for injuries she says she received when her "victim" repeatedly hit her for refusing his advances.

Support groups emerged and lawyers were mobilised, as the case became the symbol of injustice in a society tightly controlled by the communist party Communist party, in China
Communist party, in China, ruling party of the world's most populous nation since 1949 and most important Communist party in the world since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991.

"It is a reflection of conflicts that have long existed between the people and civil servants," Ba Zhongwei, one of those in charge of a Deng support group, told AFP (1) (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) The file sharing protocol used in an AppleTalk network. In order for non-Apple networks to access data in an AppleShare server, their protocols must translate into the AFP language. See file sharing protocol. .

"Authorities are used to hiding the facts to defend their own interests, this time people suspect police and local authorities of doing the same thing. And people think it could happen to them too."

Students in Beijing also put on an art performance with the title "We are all Deng Yuqiao."

Police, quoted Monday by state media, reacted by saying the young woman had used "excessive force" to defend herself.

But despite the police's stance, Deng was last week released from the jail in which she had been held and was allowed to go back to her mother's house, where she now lives under house arrest.

The two officials alleged to have been the victim's accomplices have been dismissed from their posts.

The case highlights the growing might of the Internet in a nation where traditional media is often tightly controlled and the legal system has little or no independence from the government.

"China currently has 300 million netizens. Traditional media is the mouthpiece mouthpiece n. old-fashioned slang for one's lawyer.  of governments, whereas the Internet speaks See digispeak and geekspeak.  for the people," said Hu Xingdou, an academic specialising in social issues in China.

"It allows people to let go, it is a tool to express oneself and to call for justice," said Hu, who is a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT,北京理工大学) is a university located in Beijing, People's Republic of China. History
Founded in 1940 as Yan'an Academy of Natural Science.

But as June 4 -- the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown on pro-democracy protests that killed hundreds and possibly thousands -- approaches, the communist regime has looked on this surge of criticism with growing disquiet, concerned about stability.

The blog of the "Bandit that chases the wind" has been closed down and traditional media that had reported the issue appeared to have been given orders to tone down their coverage.

"We have noticed that chat forums have been closed, maybe because authorities fear that as it's soon June 4, a sensitive date, it will become an element of instability," said Ba.

In another sign of growing jitters jitters 'Butterflies' Psychology An episode of nervousness or anxiety that often precedes a public event; jitters is a type of performance anxiety which may affect actors in a stage production–stage fright or soloist musicians; it may respond to anxiolytics , media watchdog Reporters Without Borders A number of NGOs have adopted the "Without Borders" tag, inspired by Doctors without Borders.
  • Reporters Without Borders
  • Braille Without Borders - established 2002.
  • Action Without Borders
 said this week that a dozen websites such as Twitter A Web site and service that lets users send short text messages from their cellphones to a group of friends. Launched in 2006, Twitter ( was designed for people to broadcast their current activities and thoughts. , YouTube, Bing, Flickr, Opera, Live, Wordpress and Blogger had been blocked in China.

Ba promised however that Internet users would follow the sauna worker case and would "keep watch on local authorities to see what will be their next step."
Copyright 2009 AFP Asian Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Jun 3, 2009
Previous Article:US Congress urges China to free Tiananmen inmates
Next Article:Australia economy posts surprise growth

Related Articles
The three perfections.
Google sitemaps.
China says Somali mission signals no change in military policy
Blogging guru chips away at Great Firewall of China

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters