(TibetanReview.net, Feb11’20) – Seven people have been punished in Chamdo City of Tibet Autonomous Region for their remarks on the novel coronavirus infection which is currently raging across China. They have been charged with spreading rumours and misinformation, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Feb 10, citing Chinese state media and other sources.
One person, named simply as Chen, was detained in Gojo (Chinese: Gongjue) County for posting an online comment on Jan 29. China’s party mouthpiece People’s Daily was cited as saying Feb 5 that Chen had said people from mainland China were secretly entering the county and thereby “causing panic among Chamdo residents”.
Public security officers were stated to have immediately “clarified the situation” while taking Chen into custody. He was sentenced to a 10-day detention and fined 500 yuan (US $72 approx).
Another man, named simply as Tse, was held in Tengchen (Dingqing) County after he posted a message on the popular WeChat social media platform, asking people to recite a particular prayer 10 times and forward the advice to 10 other people in successive acts to guard against the raging infection.
“Tengchen County Public Security Bureau punished the man with a term of administrative detention of seven days according to the law,” the People’s Daily report was quoted as saying.
Warning that “posting of information and remarks online must comply with relevant laws and regulations,” the county’s Public Security Bureau was reported to have warned in a notice that netizens should not “create rumours, believe rumours, or spread rumours”. They were ordered to create a “clean and harmonious cyberspace.”
The rfa.org report cited an unnamed Chamdo resident as saying “seven people have been detained for allegedly spreading disinformation,” although there are no details about them.