Documentary on constitution lands Chinese filmmaker in jail

MUMBAI: After making a documentary about Chinese constitution, Shen Yongping , a Chinese filmmaker, has been sentenced to one year in prison for “illegal business activities”.


Yongping's film, A Hundred Years of Constitutionalis, looks at the country’s constitutional governance from the period of the Qing dynasty, which ended in 1911, until the present day.


President Xi Jinping has taken a hard line against dissent and scores of activists, writers and artists have been rounded up in recent months.


There has also been a raft of new censorship rules taking aim at new media. The new rules will mean TV shows streamed online will have to comply with the same strict standards as traditional broadcasters.


Shen claimed political persecution because he said the charge of "illegal business activities" did not apply as the DVDs and downloads were free and he didn't profit from the film. His lawyer Zhang Xuezhong said the charge was "ridiculous".


Shen’s conviction comes soon after a high-level Communist Party meeting which pledged to uphold the rule of law according to the same constitution.

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