Online media platform attacked twice in two weeks

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) criticises the actions of Xiong Aichun, the Chairperson of the China Federation of Literacy and Arts Circle, in an incident with an online media platform, where the company’s property was destroyed. Following the incident, the online platform also experienced a cyber-attack. The IFJ said that the two incidents highlight challenges for freedom of expression in China, which needs to be supported by the government. 

According to numerous Mainland media reports, Xiong Aichun published five of his poems on the ‘Lei Yang Community’, an online media platform on July 1. Following the posts, he received a number of criticisms and on July 3, he went to the Lei Yang offices and destroyed a computer. Following the incident, Xiong left a note confessing his actions and demanding 10,000 yuan (USD 6,500) for psychological compensation.

Reports of the incident were widely circulated in Chinese media on July 14, and on July 15, Lei Yang Community issued a shutdown notice, citing a massive DDoS cyber-attack.

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “Xiong Aichun’s action in destroying the property of Lei Yang Community is an attack on freedom of expression, which arguably is the reason he posted the poems in the first place, to express himself. It is concerning that Lei Yang Community experienced a DDoS attack following the media reports of the incident, which is a further attack on freedom of expression. Freedom of Expression has increasingly come under attack in China from a variety of sources.”

The IFJ urge Police Department in Leiyang, Hunan Province to investigate the cyber-attack cases and bring those responsible to justice. We also urge Xiong Aichun to make an apology to Lei Yang Community. 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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