Fact Checking NYT’s Qi Chonghuai Jailed Journalist Story [Hidden Harmonies China Blog]

by Charles Liu

August 1, 2011

Recently New York Times published a story on a jailed Chinese journalist Qi Chonghuai, and made some fairly severe, usual allegations (corruption, official misconduct, torture), and a new one – double jeopardy violation in resentencing Qi to more jail time for the crime he served 4 years already, because he vowed to continue to expose official graft.

Since it was written by Andrew Jacobs (someone I consider to be the grand [slanderer] of NYT’s China reporting), and given NYT’s past record of biased reporting when it comes to China, I decided to dig into this story for details that might have been suppressed. Guess what?

1) Let’s get the biggie out of the way – Chinese netters have confirmed Qi Chonghuai was convicted of raping a 10-year old girl in 1986. Does that sound like a righteous crusader to you? It appears Jacobs didn’t bother to look into Qi’s felonious past, only to regurgitate claims made by US government funded group HRIC without questioning their veracity…

* [for documentation of claim, refer to HH’s original article]

2) Jacobs reported Qi Chonghuai’s recent trial constituted violation of double jeopardy. However according to case detail posted by Qi’s defense lawyer, Qi’s recent trial was not based on previously convicted crime, but due to a new victim coming forward earlier this year to report his case of extortion Qi committed in 2006… *

3) Jacobs also reported Qi Chonghuai was arrested after writing story exposing the lavish government office built by Tengzhou City officials on state-run media. But according to Chinese bloggers familiar with the case, Qi never wrote for any state-run media. Qi merely posted rumors on XinhuaNet and Tanya discussion forums (anyone can register and post) that were subsequently mentioned by the media… *

4) Does that sound like a legitmate reporter, posting on discussion forums? According to investigation of the 2007 case, Qi Chonghuau’s only journalist connection is he operated a website chinalegalnews.com that claimed to be connected to a parent site legaldaily.com.cn. However according to Legal Daily website operator Yuan Chenbeng (袁成本), “Legal Daily” folded and became “Legal Daily Weekender” in October 2006, and Qi’s work permit was withdrawn. In [other words] Jacobs ignored the fact at the time of Qi’s arrest he was at a minimum using expired reporter credential[s]… *

5) Even Qi Chonghuai’s defense lawyer admits Qi took money (Qi’s racket was hint[ing] at [receiving bribes] in exchange for not starting on-line rumor mongoring [sic] campaigns)… *

Edited by Zuo Shou

Full article with documentation here: http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/08/fact-checking-nyts-qi-chonghuai-jailed-journalist-story/

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