Disabled Nanjing activist was sentenced in 2019

Shao Minliang (邵明亮), a disabled activist, was sentenced to four years by the Nanjing Pukou District Court in July 2019. The judgment was upheld by the Nanjing Intermediate Court in January 2020.

Shao lost mobility after a 2014 traffic accident. He has been a vocal activist with a strong anti-communist message, resulting in multiple administrative and criminal detentions between 2016 and 2018.

It is reported that the judgment accused Shao of posting content to WeChat and Twitter that violated the law.

Shao is in his mid-50’s. His sentence expires in March 2023.

Hangzhou arrests IT professional for endangering state security

Screenshot of the initial notifications about Ma. Image credit: CareerEngine.us

On the morning of May 3, several major news apps pushed out notifications that the Hangzhou State Secure had placed a person surnamed Ma in custody, accusing the person of colluding with foreign forces to incite splittism and incite subversion.

The vagueness of the initial report had some unintended consequences. Speculation that the notification referred to Jack Ma (Ma Yun) caused Alibaba’s stock to drop by more than 9 percent on the Hong Kong exchange in the early trading hours.

Global Times quickly made an attempt to dispel the unfounded rumor, including on its English-language site, clarifying that the person’s name has three characters. More details have been disclosed by the Legal Daily.

Ma is a man born in 1985 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. He worked as a research development manager at a technology company. The relevant organs accused him of attempting to establish an illegal organization to overthrow the government, hosting online forums to spread rumors and false news, releasing a manifesto to declare independence, and calling for a new government. They also accused Ma of acting as an agent for foreign forces and inciting students to “smear China.”

The identity of Ma is still unknown at the time of writing. Although some speculated that a Twitter account @yaya20221010 could be related to the case. An image of “declaration of independence,” written in Chinese, is pinned at the top of the profile.

Online posts by Chinese citizens, especially those posted on overseas social networks, have been increasingly cited and used by authorities as evidence of endangering state security activities.

Screenshot of the pinned tweet of @yaya20201010. Image credit: yaya20201010 Twitter account  

Xing Wangli sentenced

Following his January 2022 indictment, Xing Wangli has reportedly been convicted of defamation and sentenced to two years and 11 months by the Xi County People’s Court, just one month short of the maximum sentence for the crime. The sentence expires on April 11, 2024. In the 24-page long judgment, the court deemed Xing to be a recidivist and decided to give him a more severe penalty.

Guangxi lawyer released

Lawyer Chen Jiahong (陈家鸿) was reportedly released in Guangxi on April 28. Chen was convicted by the Yulin Intermediate Court of inciting subversion and sentenced to three years. He served the full sentence.

Chen was a lawyer at the Baijuming Law Firm, which is known for representing socially and politically sensitive cases. The firm was ordered to dissolve by the Guangxi authority in 2018. Chen’s colleague Qin Yongpei (覃永沛) was also detained in 2019 and indicted for inciting subversion in 2020. Qin’s trial only had its first hearing on December 31, 2021.

Hong Kong’s national security trial 

Hong Kong Polytechnic University student Lui Sai-yu (吕世瑜) became the fourth person imprisoned for violating the newly enacted national security law which punishes subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces, and terrorism with up to life imprisonment. Lui was accused of circulating online messages calling for “acts to be taken to unlawfully change the regime” in Hong Kong. Lui has already spent about 19 months in custody since his arrest in September 2020, when police found a pepper ball gun, protective gear, and weapons used by demonstrators during the 2019 anti-extradition protests.

The judge initially handed down a prison sentence of three years and eight months, after reducing the prison term by one-third because Lui admitted guilt. However, the prosecution objected to the original sentence, arguing that Liu’s crime was of a serious nature. The prosecution further argued that the reduced sentence must not fall below the minimum sentence of five years stipulated by the national security law. The judge overturned the original decision, handing Liu a five-year prison term with no sentence reduction.