Chen Pingfu, a former music teacher now street musician, incurred the wrath of Chinese authorities when he began posting about injustices he and those around him had suffered at the hands of officials.
He was charged with inciting subversion but as the case was being heard all charges were dropped. No reason has been given but Pingfu was hardly fermenting rebellion he was just trying to highlight poor treatment.
However such criticism on social media and the internet has drawn a swift and harsh reaction in the past. But in this case the authorities appear to have had second thoughts.
China is a governed by a repressive regime but that does not mean all those working for it share the extreme values. It is possible that people in senior positions saw the case for what it was and canned it. On the other hand 12,000 comments following just one story about Pingfu broadcast in Hong Kong may have been a deciding factor. In either case a vigorous social media campaign seems to do no harm which is encouraging to China’s netizens.
Ezine Shanghaiist posted this report and picture on the case.
Chen Pingfu, a laid-off teacher turned street musician from Lanzhou, Gansu Province, was always something of an unlikely dissident. But when Chen began posting online about the injustices he suffered and saw around him, he was accused of “inciting subversion of state power” – the same charge that earned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo eleven years in prison.