Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chinese journalist linked to criticism of Xi Jinping detained by police, lawyer confirms // Chinese activist's family 'taken away' over letter calling for Xi Jinping to quit

A lawyer for a missing Chinese journalist has confirmed that police removed his client from Beijing airport on Tuesday last week as he prepared to board a flight to Hong Kong. The journalist, Jia Jia, has been linked to a detailed critique of Chinese president Xi Jinping that was briefly shared on the internet in March before censors took it down. His lawyer, Yan Xin, was quoted late on Sunday by Hong Kong and state-run Chinese media as saying that airport police told him that Jia was detained by municipal police on 15 March.

“There were police officers from the airport branch assisting in the case, so they could confirm Jia was taken away,” said Yan in comments to the South ChinaMorning Post. The lawyer said authorities had not yet notified Jia’s family on where he was being held. Soon after Jia disappeared, reports from activist groups and Hong Kong media suggested he was connected to a letter earlier in March calling for Xi’s resignation. The letter was published briefly on Wujie News, a website with ties to the Chinese government.

The letter included point-by-point criticisms of Xi’s policies and accused him of attempting to create a cult of personality, similar to Mao Zedong. The letter also had a mildly threatening tone, mentioning three times the personal risks Xi faces with his on-going anti-corruption campaign. “We also see the main goal of the anti-corruption campaign to be merely a power struggle,” said the letter, according to a translation by China Digitial Times, a website affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. “We are worried that this type of inner-party power struggle may also bring risks to the personal safety of you and your family.”


Jia, a political columnist with 84,000 Twitter followers, had reportedly told friends he might be detained before his flight to Hong Kong for a university seminar. Yet it has not been confirmed that Jia had anything to do with the explosive letter in question. Unnamed friends have told Hong Kong media he tipped off a Wujie editor to remove it from the website. Jia’s detention comes amid an unusually harsh crackdown on dissent in China. Authorities have detained and arrested numerous human rights lawyers and activists as well as four Hong Kong booksellers. The four mysteriously disappeared from the former British colony before being found in detention on the mainland.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/21/chinese-journalist-linked-to-criticism-of-xi-jinping-detained-by-police-lawyer-confirms

Chinese activist's family 'taken away' over letter calling for Xi Jinping to quit
A New York-based Chinese activist has said that China’s authorities have detained three members of his family in connection with an open letter calling for the resignation of president Xi Jinping. Speaking from New York, Wen Yunchao said his parents and younger brother were “taken away” by the authorities on Tuesday and have disappeared, days after the government “harassed” his family over his suspected involvement in distributing the letter….
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/26/chinese-activists-family-taken-away-over-letter-calling-for-xi-jinping-to-quit