Opinion / From the Press

Assumptions do not prove guilt

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-22 09:52

A woman who posted an online comment praising her father as an honest government official has been severely criticized after it came to light that he owned quite a large number of properties in Beijing. But instead of jumping to conclusions based on hearsay, the public should allow law-enforcement and judicial officials to determine whether the official is guilty, says an article in Guangming Daily. Excerpts:

Some Internet reports say the woman's father owns many properties in upscale Beijing and 10 apartments in Shenyang, Liaoning province, where he is a senior official. Yet the entire matter is shrouded in mystery, because the identities of the woman and her father have not been confirmed.

The public outrage is the result of people's assumption that government officials who own valuable properties have to be corrupt. It is highly likely that the case is an example of the hype created by online postings, which usually begin with an eye-grabbing incident or comment.

It is thus important that authorities intervene and find out the truth in order to prevent the recurrence of such cases. It is the legal system that eventually determines a person's guilt. So online judgments based on unconfirmed information should not be encouraged.

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