Petition Closed

Twitter Inc. tries to move mountains to allow Iranian dissidents to express themselves, but when a Chinese woman is sent to a labor camp for a three-word tweet, the company doesn't seem to have much to say.

A bastion of democratic, online communication in 140 characters, Twitter is used by activists, organizers and dissidents everywhere from Britian, Canada and the US to Iran, Sudan and North Korea.  The microblogging site has played a major role in revolts, riots and resistance over the past few years, from the green revolution in Iran to the riots in Tunisia in January, 2011.

But after a Chinese woman was arrested for a sarcastic tweet about anti-Japanese protests in China, for more than six weeks Twitter Inc. has not 140, not 130, not even 10 words to say about it.

Nothing.

Cheng Jianping hopped on Twitter on October 17 to send a sarcastic tweet about anti-Japanese protests. "Angry youth, charge!" she joked in a retweet.

Those three words got her one year of "Reeducation-Through-Labor" after police found her 'guilty of tweeting' (formal charge: "disturbing social order") on what was supposed to be her wedding day. There was no trial.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo did tweet initially tweet about the case: "Dear Chinese Government, year-long detentions for sending a sarcastic tweet are neither the way forward nor the future of your great people."

But Twitter Inc. has done absolutely nothing since. Contrast that with what could almost be termed 'corporate activism' as the Iranian green movement rose following the country's disputed 2009 presidential elections.

In a letter to the Twitter CEO, Cheng Jianping's lawyers Lan Zhixue and Teng Biao call on Costolo to take legal action to protest this infringement of Twitter's lawful business activities, and to use the company's "international influence" to call for her release.

Support their call for action, and demand that Twitter Inc. actively advocate for Cheng Jianping's release.

For regular updates on the 'Twitter Prisoner' campaign please follow us on Facebook, just click 'Like' at the top of our Facebook page  and check in from time to time.

Letter to
VP International, Twitter Katie Jacobs Stanton
Communications Associate, Twitter Jenna Sampson
International Marketing, Twitter Francesca Helina
and 18 others
CEO, Twitter Dick Costolo
Strategic Initiatives & Corporate Development at Twitter Jessica Verrilli
Twitter
Manager, International Support and Localization, Twitter Laura I. Gómez
VP of Business and Corporate Development, Twitter Kevin Thau
President of Global Revenue, Twitter Adam Bain
Co-Founder, Twitter Biz Stone
Co-Founder, Twitter Ev Williams
Community Manager, Twitter Stefano Helina
CFO, Twitter Ali Rowghani
VP Communications, Twitter Sean Garrett
Operations Project Manager, Twitter Kim Norlen
Internationalization Specialist, Twitter Marc Maniez
Account Executive at Twitter Hongzhe Sun
Business Operations Manager, Twitter Alex McCauley
GC, Communications, Government Relations and Trust & Safety, Twitter Alexander Macgillivray
Internationalization, Twitter Yukari Matsuzawa
Chairman, Twitter Jack Dorsey
As a Twitter user, I write to express my deep concern over Cheng Jianping, China's first citizen to be imprisoned on the basis of a single tweet.

On October 17 Cheng Jianping retweeted a tweet by her fiancee Hua Chunhui about anti-Japanese protests in Mianyang, a large city in the Sichuan province. Her fiancee had sarcastically called for anti-Japanese protesters to storm the Japanese stand at the Shanghai Expo. "Angry youth, charge!" she added.

Those three words got her one year of "Reeducation-Through-Labor" in China's Henan province after police found her 'guilty of tweeting' (formal charge: "disturbing social order") on November 12, what was supposed to be her wedding day. There was no trial.

Cheng Jianping is now the first Chinese citizen to become a political prisoner on the basis of a single tweet.

Amnesty International has advocated for her release, and Jianping's lawyers have twice tried to appeal the case and sent formal protests to three government oversight bodies, correctly pointing out that the sentence is a violation of Jianping's freedom of expression and clearly violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which China is a signatory.

Your CEO Dick Costolo did tweet initially tweet about the case: "Dear Chinese Government, year-long detentions for sending a sarcastic tweet are neither the way forward nor the future of your great people."

But Twitter Inc. has done absolutely nothing since. Contrast that with what could almost be termed 'corporate activism' as the Iranian green movement rose following the country's disputed 2009 presidential elections.

Twitter is used by activists, organizers and dissidents everywhere from Britian, Canada and the US to Iran, Sudan and North Korea. Your site has played a major role in revolts, riots and resistance over the past few years, from the green revolution in Iran to the riots in Tunisia over the weekend.

But now, for more than six weeks Twitter has nothing to say about a Chinese woman arrested for a sarcastic tweet.

Cheng Jianping's lawyers Lan Zhixue and Teng Biao have sent a letter to CEO Costolo calling on him to take legal action to protest this infringement of Twitter's lawful business activities, and to use the company's "international influence" to call for her release.

I strongly support that call, which was endorsed by Human Rights in China, one of the few active rights groups in the country.

One tweet by the CEO is not enough, and I ask that you take meaningful steps to advocate for the release of Cheng Jianping, both through Twitter itself, through public statements and through offline diplomacy.

I look forward to your response.