Posted in: Asia

Chinese Authorities Arrest Blogger Over Twitter Joke

Meeting of the Chinese Government

Chinese authorities don’t take jokes lightly. With a once in a decade power shift occurring during the 18th Communist Party conference, authorities became a bit sensitive to anything they considered terrorist activity.

According to The Guardian, blogger Zhai Xiaobing jokingly suggested that the next movie in the Final Destination franchise should be about The Great Hall of the People collapsing on party delegates.

He tweeted:

“An earthshaking debut will be seen at the global premier on November 8.”

The Chinese congress met on November 8.

Zhai’s twitter account lay quiet for a few days. Then a friend Liu Yanping, became worried and visited his home in Beijing’s northeastern suburbs. Family members told her Zhai had been taken away on the 7. During his arrest, Zhai’s computer was confiscated.

A police officer, who would only give his surname of Sun, told the Associated Press that Zhai was being investigated for spreading “terrorist information.”

Zhai’s supporter’s have started an online petition for the Chinese authorities to release the blogger and to develop a sense of humor.

The petition, written by free-speech advocate Wen Yunchao, urges the authorities to lighten-up. Among other things, he wrote:

“We solemnly request that the Beijing police find a little sense of humor and not make a big deal out of nothing.”

Further, Liu Yanping said Zhai’s wife was told by authorities to keep a low profile. When reached by phone, she has declined to make any comments concerning her husband’s situation.

More inquiries were directed to the Beijing Public Security Bureau, which did not immediately respond to a list of faxed questions.

What would you like to see the Chinese authorities do in this situation?

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