By ChinaChange.org, published: September 24, 2013
The news came in the form of a nightly order from the CCP Propaganda Department. Xia Junfeng (夏俊峰) was a street vendor from Tieling county, Liaoning province (辽宁铁岭县). On May 16, 2009, while selling chicken strips, roasted sausages and other snacks with his wife Zhang Jing near a crossroads in Chenhe District, in the city of Shenyang (沈阳沉河区), Xia Junfeng was seized by urban enforcers known as Chengguan (城管) and taken to their office where he was beaten. During the course of the beating, Xia Junfeng fought back with a small knife he carried in his pocket, stabbing two Chengguans to death and injuring one. He was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to death during the first trial, and the second trial, held in July, 2010, upheld the verdict of the first trial (read Teng Biao’s defense here or the closing argument). The case has garnered wide online attention in China since the onset. It has been reviewed by the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing, now that review comes to this end. Twitter and Weibo respond Tuesday night:
@langzichn: [presumably the order itself] The review on Xia Junfeng’s death sentence for intentional homicide has concluded. It will be carried out on September 25. All media outlets, if reporting on it, must publish the authoritative information issued by the court. No commentaries, no links, no hype.
@wenyunchao: @深夜一只猫: Media professional @康少见 said that [the Propaganda Department] had issued an order on media coverage of the Xia Junfeng case. Media outlets must publish only the Xinhua report. This means that a verdict has probably been made about the Xia Junfeng case, but his wife @沈阳张晶 still knows nothing about it. Please pay attention, everyone.
@youyuping: Xia Junfeng is going to be executed. I cannot believe it.
@lihai54: Justice dies in front of our eyes.
@happyfan: Justice does not die. RIP, Xia Junfeng.
@WuyouLan: I can’t sleep as it hurts to think that tonight is perhaps Xia Junfeng’s last night in our world.
@yangpigui: Words were issued tonight and the execution is set for tomorrow. No room left in between. How they have determined. Is there anything the lawyers can do?
@WuyouLan: If I could, I would like to take one day away from my own life and give it to Xia Junfeng. I believe Xia Junfeng can therefore live to be at least 100 years old. What pains me most is that we are watching a life being destroyed – by injustice at that — without being able to do anything.
@gaodongmei: F*** you, a crazy regime courting your own demise!
@libdave I’m overwhelmed by sadness & a sense of powerlessness.
@liushui1989: To kill Xia Junfeng means that Chengguan, or the government, is digging grave for itself.
@xcityonfire: Unless we overthrow it, “digging grave for itself” will always be its main business. On what day doesn’t it “dig grave for itself?” Alas!
@tufuwugan (activist who was involved in earlier stage of the Xia Junfeng case): F*** you CCP! About ten days ago I had a feeling that you son of bitch were going to do something heartless, I didn’t expect it to happen so fast! F*** you!
@wenyunchao: Times Square [New York] is very cold. The news of Xia Junfeng makes it colder. My fingers, typing on the screen, become dumb.
@wenyunchao：This evil regime, when executing a powerless street vendor who merely defended himself, does not even plan to let him meet with his wife and child for one last time.
@akid_: Zhang Jing (Xia Junfeng’s wife) seems desperate and scared, on the verge of collapsing.
@as50as: I personally hope that big names will stand up and mobilize all forces for one last cry: Free Xia Junfeng!
@wentommy: Tomorrow [Wednesday] Xia Junfeng will be verified of his identity and executed. The family has not received any notice. They are still hopeful. What a torture it must be!
@tufuwugan: Tears came. For the one life that will soon pass. For the old and the young of his poor family. For this condemned country. No matter how hard we try, this evil group always answers us with the most egregious and heartless acts. F*** you!
@49laihong: Heavens, I can’t believe Xia Junfeng will be put to death tomorrow. How many more lives will this evil system destroy?
@c06658: Even this Weibo post of Si Weijiang (斯伟江, well-known lawyer) was deleted: “Are there colleagues from Shenyang? Please direct message me tomorrow morning at your earliest convenience. I need your help! Thank you!” You can tell the Propaganda Department has deployed across the board. Tomorrow is ominous for Xia Junfeng.
@wentommy: Execution without a just trial is a murder; execution without notifying the family is an assassination.
@daxa: Si Weijiang (斯伟江): Do not believe in these rumors! “Article 423: “Before the first-instance people’s court carries out a death sentence, the convict should be informed that he has the right to meet with his close relatives. Where a convict applies for a meeting and provides a specific contract method, the people’s courts should notify his close relatives. Where a convict’s close relatives apply for a meeting, the people’s court should allow it and promptly arrange the meeting.” (The Supreme People’s Court’s Interpretation on the Application of the “PRC Criminal Procedure Law”)
@wentommy: Neither the relatives nor the lawyers have received the news of the fall execution, but the news rooms did. This is an ethical tragedy, a legal tragedy. On top of that, it forces the media to bear the shame.
@tufuwugan: A quick briefing about me verifying Xia Junfeng’s execution: media have indeed received notice. This source of information has been confirmed. That’s why a lot of media outlets and journalists came out tonight to express their feelings and concerns. Though they don’t know exactly what the outcome will be, it’s clear that it’s going to be very bad. I also spoke to Zhang Jing [Xia Junfeng’s wife]. She also received the bad news from reliable sources. But she has not received any formal notice. If the outcome turns out to be a good one, I am willing to assume legal responsibility for spreading rumors!
@scgxzlx: RT @卢晶3世观察: I have no more to say to this country.
@freedomandlaw: If a society has lost all peaceful means to reach justice, then eye-for-an-eye retaliation takes on God-given legitimacy.
@wenyunchao: When the day breaks in China, can friends in Beijing please take the day off, go to the Supreme People’s Court, and shout “Have Mercy!”? I can’t think of anything else to do.