Poster withdrawn in China after web users say it warns of sexual abuse for law breakers

Photograph: SCMP

Photograph: SCMP

A local court in China has withdrawn a poster that was widely lampooned in social media for implying that those who break the law will be raped while in prison.

The copy in the poster (right) reads: ‘Manzhouli court warns township residents to abide by laws, or…” with a picture of a sunflower and a chrysanthemum running underneath.

The sunflower was used to depict a person before prison, a chrysanthemum to represent them after jail in the poster for the the city of Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia. In Chinese web culture, the word “chrysanthemum” is used to represent “anus” and has sexual connotations, according to a story in the South China Morning Post today.

One user of social network Sina Weibo said: “If this is not called threatening and intimidation, then I don’t know what is.”

After ten of thousands of comments made online about the poster, a local government official stated: “The court [poster’s] original intention was to warn people away from prison because [imprisonment] takes away one’s best years of his life, like a fading flower.”

“Because of widespread pranks, the billboard has to be withdrawn. [I] hope all relevant sides can co-operate and delete these posts,” he said.


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