December 24, 2009

Court Upholds Original Verdict on the First Case of "Human Flesh Search"

The dust has finally settled on the first lawsuit ever concerning the controversial "human flesh search." In the end, Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court upheld the original ruling. One of the defendants Leyi Zhang (张乐奕) is found guilty of defamation against Fei Wang (王菲). All infringing articles are to be deleted. Furthermore, Zhang must formally apologize to Wang on his website and pay the plaintiff 5684 yuan to coverage litigation costs and any harm to the man's mental well-being.

On December 29, 2007, 31 year old white-collar Yan Jiang (姜岩) jumped from her 24 storied apartment because her husband Fei Wang betrayed their marriage. Two months prior to her suicide, Jiang had written about her inner journey on MSN space, where a photo of the straying husband with his mistress was also uploaded. To commemorate the dead and to criticize Wang's infidelity, Jiang's college classmate Leyi Zhang built the website "The Migrant Bird That Flies North" to host articles that Jiang's relatives, friends, and Mr. Zhang himself wrote in memoriam. A few days later, Daqi dedicated a section of its website to the tragedy, exposing the real names and photos of Fei Wang and the mistress Dong Fang [Note: both of which were already on Jiang's MSN Space].

In the next month, Fei Wang was searched by human flesh, hassled by Netizens, fired by his company, unable to obtain new employment, and even his parent's apartments were plastered with condemnatory messages. After 4 months of living like a frightened bird, Wang decided to sue Daqi, Tianya, and Leyi Zhang, asking for 135,000 yuan for his troubles. The Beijing Chaoyang Court convicted Daqi Website and Zhang, but Zhang decided to appeal the decision at Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court.

Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court acknowledged the undesirability of Fei Wang's infidelity, stating that adultery upsets the social order and breaks the moral code. However, by posting Wang's information on and allowing the World Wide Web to disseminate this information, Zhang has essentially abetted the "human flesh search," causing disruptions to Wang and his parents' lives. This behavior damaged Wang's reputation.

Reaction to the Verdict

As before, Fei Wang failed to appear at court. His lawyer in proxy told the reporter that Wang has already found a new job but claimed ignorance to his dating status. "Fei Wang would like the public to forget him. After all, he has played a disgraceful role in this affair."

Leyi Zhang's lawyer stated that the wisdom of this court ruling remains to be seen. "I believe that not every one agrees with this verdict."

Timeline of Events

  • February 22, 2006, Fei Wang and Yan Jiang married.
  • Yan Jiang created an account in MSN Space [before her marriage]. In July, 2007 Jiang cut off access to her personal blog but continued writing.
  • December 27, 2007 was the date of Yan Jiang's first attempt to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills. Prior to that day, she revealed the password of her blog to an on-line friend, requesting that her blog to be made public again after 12 hours. Jiang was found in time and revived.
  • December 29, 2007, Jiang jumped down from her apartment located on the 24th floor.
  • January 11, 2008, Leyi Zhang created the not-for-profit website "The Migrant Bird That Flies North." Friends and relatives of Jiang wrote several articles to commemorate her. Its link was posted on both Tianya and Sina.
  • January 14, 2008, Daqi Website published "The Last Blog Entries Written By the MM Who Jumped to Her Death from 24th Floor." The article included real names and photos obtained from Jiang's blog. Fei was consequently human flesh searched. Some Netizens even spray painted "Wife Killer", "Blood Debt Needs to be Paid in Blood" outside his home.
  • March 3, 2008, Fei Wang sued Zhang, Daqi, and Tianya for defamation of character.
What Netizens Think

coming home [to Leyi Zhang]
December 24th, 2009 at 1:20 am
I thought I would be angry, but I am not. I am just sad. Deeply. When a legal system cannot reflect the people’s needs and protect the moral goodness, something is seriously wrong. Wait, maybe that is a reflection of the current society - who cares what you have done, shameless people win. It is a festival for people having no shame and bottom line.

Does that mean you have to delete the three articles? Is there any way to put this website on an overseas server so it is out of China’s jurisdiction? I know very little of computer/network.

Also, what are the consequences if you don’t follow the judgment? If there will only be civil penalty, I will donate if you want to keep fighting. But no pressure, please, you have done a lot.

2009-12-24 06:45:34 Sina Guangdong Mobilephone User
You cheated on your wife. Your reputation was already in tatters. If you didn't love her, why not divorce her. She died because of you, and her blog only spoke the truth. The court judges were retarded to think that your reputation was damaged by others!

2009-12-24 09:48:38 Sina Sichuan Mobilephone User
The law failed to support morality. A person who has done inmoral things relies on the law to protect his laughable reputation. Tragedy.

2009-12-24 09:59:15 Sina Beijing Mobilephone User
The law was never intended for the protection of the weak.

2009-12-24 09:28:47 Sina Guangdou Mobilephone User
Support the verdict. Everyone of us can become a victim of human flesh search. Who dares to say he never did anything inmoral in his life? Protecting Fei Wang's right is protecting our right!

2009-12-24 11:49:01 Sina Guizhou Mobilephone User
A SB committed suicide. Her lover created a lot of fuss over her. A bunch of resentful wives cheered him on.

2009-12-24 19:51:51 Sina Guangdou Mobilephone User
Why are people mixing the two up? The court said that human flesh search is legal; that doesn't mean it supports xiao san! If Fei Wang had something to do with Yan Jiang's death, her relatives can separately sue!

2009-12-24 17:21:35 Zhejiang Hangzhou Big Pand
Xiao sans have become strong!

1 comment:

  1. The Man is a fool! He has lost face and has no honor!


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