October 29, 2015 (Hong Kong Free Press) — New amendments to the criminal law in China, which abolished the death penalty for nine crimes and criminalised behaviour such as spreading false rumours on the Internet, will take effect from November 1. China’s Ninth Amendment to the PRC Criminal Law adopted on August 29. Under Section 291, offenders could be imprisoned up to seven years for disrupting social stability by posting false police notices or spreading rumours about natural disasters on the Internet.
“Fabricating false reports of danger, epidemic, disasters or security alerts and transmitting them through information networks or other media, or clearly knowing that information is false information described above and intentionally transmitting it through the information networks or other media, seriously disturbing the social order, is sentenced by up to three years imprisonment, short-term detention or controlled release; where serious consequences are caused, the sentence is between three and seven years imprisonment. ”