BEIJING — A Chinese woman has been sentenced to a year in a labor camp after she retweeted a Twitter post that mocked anti-Japanese protesters, according to human rights groups.
A court on Monday convicted Cheng Jianping, 46, of “disturbing social order” after she added a few words to a message written by her fiance, Hua Chunhui, Amnesty International said Wednesday.
Activist group Chinese Human Rights Defenders on Thursday that confirmed Cheng, whose Twitter username is “wangyi09”, had been jailed in the central province of Henan.
AFP calls to the provincial court were not answered.
On October 17, Cheng added the phrase “Angry youth, charge!” before retweeting Hua’s message that mocked Chinese anti-Japanese protesters who had smashed Japanese products over a maritime dispute between the two countries, Amnesty said.
The dispute erupted in early September when Tokyo arrested a Chinese trawler captain near a disputed East China Sea archipelago claimed by both sides.
“Sentencing someone to a year in a labor camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person’s clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China’s repression of online expression,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director for the Asia-Pacific.
Amnesty urged the government to release Cheng, who it said could be the first Chinese citizen to become “a prisoner of conscience on the basis of a single tweet.”
The government blocks Twitter, but many people access it on the mainland via virtual proxy networks.