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Chinese Detained For Altering Government Propaganda Poster

Statement by Chengbu Public Securtity Bureau (Weibo) 

A Chinese citizen from Chengbu Miao Autonomous County, in China's Hunan Province, was detained for a week after he altered the words of a government propaganda poster. 

According to Chinese media reports, on December 17 the government of Chengbu's Xiyan Town put up propaganda posters that read: "Gluttonous and lazy people are shameful, being poor is not glorious" (好吃懒做很可耻、贫穷落后不光荣), as part of a government propaganda campaign to reduce poverty. 

After seeing the posters, a 34-year-old man surnamed Tang altered the words to: "Gluttonous and lazy people are glorious, being poor is not shameful." Passers-by photographed the modified poster and shared the pictures online. 

On January 5, the Chengbu Public Security Bureau released a statement on its Weibo account, announcing that Mr. Tang had been detained on charges of violating Article 25, Section 1, of the Public Security Administration Punishments Law of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共国治安管理处罚法), which punishes the "dissemination of rumours" and other "ways of willfully disturbing public order." 

The Public Security Bureau claimed that people believed that the posters altered by Mr. Tang were authentic. Mr. Tang was sentenced to 7 days in jail for  "seriously damaging the image of the government".  

Chinese netizens were surprised that such a small offense could lead to jail time. "Is this alone enough to get detained?" asked one netizen. 

"Is the image of the government so fragile that it can fall apart by just changing a few words?" wrote another. 

Another netizen commented: "It's not that bad. Only a few years ago, he would have been shot." 

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