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Libel and Lawsuits in China

Libel is any written or pictorial statement that damages a person or an organization. Posting libellous statements on the Internet, including online forums, BBS, blogs, instant messagers and mobile texts, can result in legal actions against the poster.

In many countries, Libel is not a criminal offence, so you can't be sent to jail for it. However, you can be sued for damages in civil court. But in China, libel can be 'made a criminal offence' if nvolves "state secrecy issues".

University of Oxford sets up a project on Libel law and the internet in China, about more than three hundred media libel cases and their court rulings are being examined through analyzing the law, court cases and rulings.

As many as seven bloggers have been detained over claims that a 25-year-old woman, Yan Xiaoling, had been gang-raped and murdered in Fujian province, southern China. Three of these — Fan Yanqiong, Wu Huaying and You Jingyou, known online as He Suoge — have been formally arrested for “making false charges”, what they have done are posting articles and videos online alleging official misconduct and their attempting to cover up criminal acts regarding the death of Yan Xiaoling.

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