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Chinese Woman Sentenced To Re-Education Over Tweet

A Chinese woman has been sentenced to a year in a labour camp after re-tweeting a joke on Twitter.

Human rights activist Cheng Jiangping was arrested on 27 October and has since been convicted of "disturbing social order" and sentenced to one year of "re-education through labour", Amnesty International reported (opens in new tab) on Wednesday.

Her fiance, Hua Chunhui, originally posted a message mocking the demonstrators who smashed Japanese products in protest over an incident with Japan concerning the ownership of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands.

Cheng later retweeted the message, adding the phrase: “Angry youth, charge!"

Amnesty International said that Cheng may be the first Chinese citizen to be a prisoner of conscience on the basis of a single tweet.

“Sentencing someone to a year in a labour camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person's clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China's repression of online expression," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director for the Asia-Pacific.

The BBC reports (opens in new tab) that Cheng has been sent to the Shibali River women's labour camp in Zhengzhou city, Henan Province to see out her sentence.

Twitter is banned in China, but many users still find work-arounds to avoid government internet controls to access the micro-blogging platform.