A junior high school student in northwest China is serving criminal detention for spreading defamatory messages which were re-posted 500 times, police said yesterday.
The 16-year-old is the first person to be punished under a national regulation announced just last week. It was not revealed how long his period of detention will be.
Police said the student, surnamed Yang, wrote on his microblog last Saturday that they had acted improperly after a man committed suicide by jumping from a building two days before in Zhangjiachuan Hui Autonomous County in Gansu Province. Details of Yang’s claims were not released.
In another post, Yang said officers had come into conflict with members of the public after the incident, even beating relatives of the dead man, according to police.
The next night, Yang posted again, saying that the building where the man jumped, a KTV establishment, was owned by the deputy head of the county’s court.
Police said one of Yang’s posts had been retweeted more than 500 times, which was a violation of the regulation which came into effect on September 9. They did not say which post it was.
Police at the suicide scene said they had asked family members for permission to carry out an autopsy to determine the cause of death after relatives had claimed the man had been beaten and thrown from the building.
But tempers flared and two relatives were detained for alleged obstruction of justice. However, they were allowed to remain free until after the funeral.
An official with the Zhangjiachuan County People’s Court said the KTV was owned by a court police officer’s wife and not the court’s deputy head.