Number Two Branch of Beijing People’s Procuratorate
Bill of Indictment
BJ 2d Br Proc Crim Indict (2015) No. 48
Defendant Pu Zhiqiang, male, born January 17, 1965, identification number [redacted], Han ethnicity, from Hebei Province, master’s degree education, is a lawyer at the Beijing Huayi Law Firm and resides at [redacted] in Beijing. Placed under criminal detention by the Haidian Precinct of the Beijing Public Security Bureau on May 6, 2014, under suspicion of provoking a serious disturbance. With the approval of this procuratorate, arrested by the Beijing Public Security Bureau on June 13, 2014, under suspicion of illegally obtaining citizens’ personal information and provoking a serious disturbance.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau has concluded its investigation of this case and, on November 13, 2014, referred the case to this procuratorate for prosecutorial review of defendant Pu Zhiqiang’s culpability for the crimes of inciting separatism, inciting ethnic hatred, provoking a serious disturbance, and illegally obtaining personal citizen information. Upon receiving the case, this procuratorate notified the defendant of his right to retain defense counsel, questioned the defendant in accordance with the law, heard the defense lawyer’s opinions, and reviewed the complete set of
documents in this case. Because of the complexity of the case, it was sent back to the investigating organ twice for additional investigation in accordance with the law and the deadline for prosecutorial review was extended twice in accordance with the law, each time by half a month.
Having reviewed the case in accordance with the law, we find:
1. Inciting Ethnic Hatred
Between January 2012 and May 2014 and in Beijing’s Fengtai District and other locations, defendant Pu Zhiqiang used several Sina Weibo accounts including “Little Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang,” “Simpleton Lawyer for the
Fake Tax Case,” and “Simpleton Lawyer for the Yongzhou Shuanggui Case (with a total of more than 130,000 combined followers) to publish eight Weibo posts in response to
incidents such as the violent terrorist attacks in Kunming, Yunnan, thereby using information networks to provoke ethnic relations, attracting a large number of online users to view, repost, and comment on his posts, undermining ethnic unity.
2. Provoking Disturbances
From 2011 onward and in Beijing’s Xicheng District and other locations, defendant Pu Zhiqiang used several Sina Weibo accounts, including “Little Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang,” “Hopeful Simpleton Pu Zhiqiang,” and “Lawyer Pu Cuilan” (with a total of more than 200,000 combined followers), to vent his emotions by publishing Weibo posts in response to controversial public incidents. In these posts, he used abusive language to brazenly insult numerous people involved [in these incidents], such as Tian XX and Shen XX, attracting a large number of online users to view, repost, and comment on his posts and creating an odious social impact.
The evidence confirming the facts above includes: (1) documentary evidence, including an informational memorandum from the Beijing Network Industry Association; (2) testimony of witnesses, such as Tian XX and Shen XX; (3) search records from the Haidian Precinct of the Beijing PSB; (4) electronic data; (5) defendant Pu Zhiqiang’s statement and defense.
This procuratorate maintains that defendant Pu Zhiqiang used information networks to incite ethnic hatred with aggravated circumstances and brazenly insulted others with odious circumstances and damage to social order. His actions constitute a violation of Articles 249, 293(1)(2), and 69(1) of the Criminal Law of the PRC. The facts being clear and the evidence being reliable and sufficient, defendant Pu Zhiqiang should be held criminally responsible for the crimes of inciting ethnic hatred and provoking a serious disturbance. Therefore, in accordance with Article 172 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC, this procuratorate hereby submits its indictment and requests that punishment be imposed in accordance with the law.
To: Beijing Number Two Intermediate People’s Court
Prosecutors: Jin Yi
Acting Prosecutor: Gao Peng
May 15, 2015
Notes and Attachments:
- Defendant Pu Zhiqiang is currently detained in Beijing Number One Detention Center
- Case file (26 folders)
- Witness list
- List of seized items
[End of Indictment]
The Seven Weibo Posts Used to Prosecute Pu Zhiqiang (posted 12 times) with translator’s notes
(I) Three Posts Related to the Charge of “Provoking a Disturbance”
- July 29, 2011 (12:55:56) [Account #3]
“That lady at the press conference was annoying, but the reporters are personally protected. She’s also proven how exceptional a spokesman Wang Yongping is for the Ministry of Railways. ‘In any case, that’s what I believe.’  At least the Ministry of Railways lets you ask questions. Last July, CNPC made Dalian explode;  this year, they set another fire to mark the anniversary but wouldn’t tell you about it.  At least she’s just an old sow; if they sent one of those rabid-dog types, he’d be asking you: ‘What unit are you from? Your boss and I know each other! Can I play with your pen recorder for a bit?’” 
Comments: 49 Reposts: 97
 This references a Wang Yongping’s famous response to a question about the Wenzhou high-speed rail crash, in which he said: “Whether you believe it or not, in any case that’s what I believe” (至于你信不信，我反正信了).
 Refers to an explosion at a China National Petroleum Corp. pipeline in Dalian in July 2010.
 Refers to a PetroChina refinery fire in Dalian in July 2011.
 Refers to a March 2010 incident involving then-Hunan governor Li Hongzhong and a reporter from the Beijing Times. (Good summary in English here.)
- January 31, 2013 (14:48:18) [Account #10]
“Besides luck and blood relations, Shen Jilan is an NPC delegate and Mao Xinyu is a CCPPC committee member by dint of pretending to be a fool and truly being a fool. This shows that it doesn’t take much to be on either the NPC or the CCPPC—if you want to fit in, you either have to play the fool or be a fool. There’s no hope of Member Mao being smart, so I have to entreat old lady Shen: Life is as inconsequential as a goose feather, while death is as weighty as Mt. Tai—how great it would be if you just ended your life right now! You’re already 84, and you’ve been a delegate for 60 years. You’re finally reaching the end, so how about you take the opportunity to die on the battlefield and make the NPC confer on you the title of martyr?”
Comments: 145 Reposts: 129 Comments: 97 Reposts: 120
3, 4. July 26, 2013 (23:29:23) [Accounts # 9 & 8]
“‘Why Things Would Go Bad Without the Communist Party’?  How do you fucking know things would go bad?! Besides lies, deceit, and waving the hammer and sickle, what’s the fucking mystery that keeps this party in power? Listen, Xiang Ping: China will do just fine without anyone, so quit giving me directions. “A Book Every Chinese Person Should Read”? You’re nothing but a disgrace for writing such a lousy book! If Wu Hongfei hadn’t just gone to jail,  I’d tell your ancestors to get fucked! It makes me sick to have to read this stuff! Uggh!” (Note: There is suspicion that this was not written by Pu)
Comments: 165/192 Reposts: 251/330 (posted twice)
 Refers to this book.
 Refers to detention of singer Wu Hongfei for making a fake bomb threat in July 2013.
(II) Four Posts Related to the “Inciting Ethnic Hatred” Charge
- January 25, 2012 (23:58:01) [Account #3]
“In the Tibetan Region [the government] is imposing the ‘Nine Haves’  on temples and requiring them to hang portraits of Mao, Deng, Jiang and Hu. In Ghulja, they’re banning beards and the wearing of veils. They take this series of actions and claim to be weakening religious consciousness. Are the Han people crazy in the head or are those who head the Han people crazy?!”
Comments: 22 Reposts: 2
 Note: The “Nine Haves” are: portraits of the four leaders, the national flag, roads, running water, radio and television, movies, libraries, and newspapers.
2, 3. January 25, 2012 (23:43:40) [Account #3]
“In Ghulja, they’ve completely banned Muslims from wearing veils, claiming that it’s to weaken religious consciousness. Have the Han gone completely crazy?”
Comments: 38 Reposts: 0 (posted twice)
4. March 2, 2014 (14:03:52) [Account #12]
“The Kunming Incident is so bloody, and the perpetrators have committed grievous sins. They say that those who support independence for Xinjiang carried out the terror, and this time I believe it. But this is the result, not the cause. When you sum up such heavy casualties and unbearable consequences in a sentence by saying that those who promote Xinjiang independence are savages and you bear no responsibility, I can’t agree. Day after day, you say that Party policies are good and that the Uyghur people favor the Party, so how can things get so bloody? Wang Lequan, president of the China Law Society, you pacified the western regions for more than a decade and know the area better than anyone. Tell me: Why? Who are they attacking?”
Comments: 1071 Reposts: 1930
5, 6, 7, 8. May 1, 2014 (13:36:02, 14:39:23) [Account #1] (14:33:21) [Account #4]
“‘Under the wide heaven, all is the king’s land/Within the seas, all are the king’s servants.’ If you say Xinjiang belongs to China, then don’t treat it like a colony and don’t act like conquerors and plunderers. Whether you ‘take the initiative to subdue the enemy’ or ‘gain mastery through counterattack,’ it’s all about subduing those you treat as your enemy and makes for a ridiculous national policy. The troubles have been brewing for quite a while and old habits are hard to break, so conflict is unavoidable. If people don’t fear death, then it’s pointless to use death to try to scare them. The attackers long to become martyrs for Allah, so whether you take the initiative or wait to counterattack, who’s going to be frightened? It’s time to adjust the policy toward Xinjiang.”
Comments: 23/42 Reposts: 60/81 (posted four times)