Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security Notice Concerning Severely Attacking Illegal Publication Criminal Activities

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PC(R)D No. (1991)5

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal Higher People’s Courts, People’s Procuratorates, Public Security Departments (Offices):

Following the in-depth carrying out of the “sweeping pornography” struggle, criminals producing, selling, broadcasting and smuggling obscene goods have been attacked to a certain extent. But, illegal publication criminal activities are still relatively grave. Exceptional manifestations are: already clearly prohibited publications with content propagating sex, murder and violence, feudal superstition and reactionary content, undergoing superficial changes, and come forth again; some already cancelled publication work units still engage in unlawful and criminal activities; a small number of publication and distribution work units, continue to violate publication management regulations, selling book and periodical numbers, publishing, soliciting subscriptions and distributing harmful books and periodicals; a number of printing plants forget integrity because of gains, and unlawfully print illegal publications.

In order to severely publish illegal publication criminal activities, the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued the “Notice Concerning Severely Punishing Illegal Publication Criminal Activities According to the Law” on 21 November 1987 (see also this periodical, year 1987, issue 4, page 17). The first Article of that Notice provides: “with the aim of seeking quick profits, engaging in publication, printing, distribution or sale of illegal publications activities, where the illegal business or illegal gains are relatively large, and circumstances are grave, it will be punished under Article 117 of the Criminal Law as the crime of profiteering; where the value is enormous, Article 118 of the Criminal Law applies; where the circumstances are especially grave, the provisions of Article 1, Paragraph (1) of the “National People’s Congress Standing Committee Decision Concerning Severely Punishing Grave Crimes Destroying the Economy”. But, since this important Judicial Interpretation has been published, a number of localities have still not earnestly implemented it. Many cases already constituting crimes, there has been no transfer to judicial organs for investigation of criminal liability, situations of replacing punishment with a fine are still grave, resulting in a number of criminals not having been attacked as they ought to, and continuously engage in illegal publication criminal activities. This unsolved problem, is not only harmful for the in-depth carrying out of the “sweeping pornography” struggle, but may also endanger the results of the previous phase of “sweeping pornography” and may even make the rabble producing pornography and selling pornography make a comeback.

It is hereby again reiterated: all levels’ People’s Courts, People’s Procuratorates and Public Security organs, must strictly implement the provisions of Article 1 of the SPC, SPP “Notice Concerning Severely Punishing Illegal Publication Criminal Activities According to the Law”. Concerning the value thresholds of engaging in illegal publication criminal activities other than producing, duplicating and publishing obscene goods, for constituting the crime of profiteering, before a new judicial interpretation is issued, the SPC, SPP “(Trial) Reply Concerning Some Issues on the Present Concrete Applicable Law Handling Economic Criminal Cases” of 8 July 1985, and the SPC, SPP “Regulations Concerning Present Handling of Enterprises, Institutions and Work Units, Organs, Groups Profiteering Criminal Cases” of 15 March 1989 will still be implemented. For illegal publication criminal cases, it is absolutely not possible to dispose matters with a fine by an administrative entity. Public security organs shall timely file cases, investigate, and transfer to the judicial authorities for investigation of lodging a complaint, the People’s Procuratorates and People’s Courts shall both timely accept; the People’s Courts shall according to the abovementioned SPC, SPP Notices, according to the Criminal Law and relevant Decisions of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, impose punishment. For work units engaged in illegal publication criminal activities, the directly responsible leading cadre and other directly responsible persons, shall be investigated for criminal liability. The phenomena of “a case is not investigated, a filed case is not followed up, a fine replaces punishment, heavy crimes are lightly punished”, must be persistently corrected and prevented. It is necessary to pay close attention to handling a batch of large and major cases, and propagate them widely through news media such as radio, television, newspapers and periodicals, etc., in order to attack the criminals rampant arrogance, and further lead to the deepening of “sweeping pornography” struggle

The above Notice, is hoped to be earnestly implemented. Any issues arising in implementation are requested to be timely reported.

30 January 1991










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