Protect the whistle-blower

Recently in Hunan Province a businessman who had exposed the corruption of some local judges was sentenced to 4 years in jail for privacy violation.

Recently in Hunan Province a businessman who had exposed the corruption of some local judges was sentenced to 4 years in jail for privacy violation, according to China Youth Daily.

The whistleblower, surnamed Wu, had hired private detectives to take photos of judges suspected of wrongdoing like gambling and adultery. Subsequent investigation based on Wu’s tipoff led to the punishment of those judges. Sadly, Wu also ended up being charged with illegally obtaining personal information.

Wu’s fate contrasts with a Shanghai businessman who, in 2013, similarly obtained videos showing some corrupt judges visiting prostitutes. The judges were removed from office, and this whistleblower did not face any criminal charges.

According to the law, anyone who violates privacy by secretly taking photos might be detained for less than 10 days or fined up to 500 yuan.

However, there’s no legal definition as to what kind of act shall be deemed violation of privacy, nor whether it is tolerable to photograph officials in the act of gambling, or cavorting with prostitutes.

Still, officials guilty of such offences should not be immune from public supervision on the excuse of privacy.

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