Shanghai Communist Party Paper Issues New Warnings to Citizens Not to Use Cell Phones to Organize Demonstrations

April 26, 2005

Following warnings issued via the People's Daily last week from the Ministry of Public Security not to use the Internet and cell phones to organize unauthorized demonstrations, the Shanghai Evening Post, which is published by the Shanghai Communist Party committee, published an article on April 25 warning citizens not to use cell phones to "spread rumors." Entitled, "Short Text Message Rumors: Don't Trust Them, Don't Spread Them," the article is apparently another attempt by Chinese authorities to discourage anti-Japanese protests.


The article cited an "expert with the Shanghai Lawyer's Association" as saying:

Today there are incidents where people use cell phone short text messaging to spread rumors about marches, and this influences national security, harms social stability, and is illegal. According to stipulations in the Law on Assembly and Demonstrations, citizens enjoy the freedom to assemble, march, and demonstrate, but all assemblies, marches, and demonstrations must apply for and receive prior permission from public security authorities in accordance with the law. . . . China's laws and regulations clearly prohibit the 'production, copying, distributing, or broadcasting of information that threaten's national security, disrupts social order, jeopardizes social stability, or violates laws and regulations regarding superstition and obscenity,' regardless of the means by which it is disseminated, including short text messaging, the Internet, orally, face-to-face, or in writing.