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Pu Zhiqiang sentenced to 3 years in prison with reprieve

PU Zhiqiang was handed a suspended three-year prison sentence for inciting ethnic hatred and disturbing public order, a Beijing court ruled on Tuesday.

Pu was given a lighter punishment after a public trial as he confessed his crime honestly, pleaded guilty and repented his guilt. Pu accepted the verdict and said he will not appeal.

The court, after hearing out the defense and opinions from the prosecutor, determined Pu provoked ethnic discord and incited ethnic hatred via multiple entries he posted on his social media accounts on from Jan. 2012 to May 2014.

His posts, shared over 2,500 times and generating more than 1,300 comments, stirred ethnic hatred among Internet users, triggering an antagonistic mentality in many and creating a severe social impact.

Pu continued posting provocative content despite repeated warnings from web administrators, which demonstrated his clear intent to stir ethnic hatred, the court said.

Pu posted derogatory content on his microblog account four times since 2011, smearing several people involved in widely followed events, the court also determined,

The incident not only created psychological distress for victims and harmed their social reputation, but also disturbed order in cyberspace and had a negative social impact. Pu disturbed public order.

During the trial, Pu agreed to the charges, apologized several times to the public and the victims, and expressed readiness to accept lawful punishment, the court said.


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