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China 11 May 2006

Detained blogger still being denied access to lawyer

In a message posted on her blog today, Na Wu has accused the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of doing everything possible to keep her brother, fellow blogger Hao Wu, in detention without good reason. Asked last month why Hao was not being allowed to see a lawyer, the PSB replied that this was a “misunderstanding” due to the fact that the family had made no official request.

As a result, the family did make a formal request in a letter drafted by lawyers hired by Na. After the letter remained unanswered for more than 10 days, the lawyers called the PSB several times requesting an explanation. The PSB finally said the request for Hao to be represented by a lawyer had been ignored because it had not been made directly by a member of Hao’s family.

The PSB went on to say that a member of the Hao family would have to fill out the forms in person, and that this could only be done after obtaining an appointment with the PSB. Na, who is also known as Nina, wrote in disgust in her blog: “It would have made no difference if I had gone and filled out the forms in person, because the information was still the same.”


26.04.06

After two months without news, authorites accused of "kidnapping" blogger

Reporters Without Borders today said it considered Chinese blogger Hao Wu to be the victim of state abduction as more than two months have gone by since his arrest without his family getting any news about him. His lawyer has not been allowed to see him, but has been told his client is now in a state security "guesthouse".

“This case shows the Chinese security services operate without any control by the courts,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Hao is the victim of an arbitrary system that interprets the law as it sees fit. We call on European and American diplomats to raised his case at their meetings with the Chinese authorities. We are curious know how they will justify the Public Security Bureau’s procedures.”

In a message posted on her blog (http://spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily/blog/), Hao’s sister, Na Wu, said she had hired a lawyer who asked three questions during an interview with the Public Security Bureau on 21 April: why his client is being held longer than allowed by the law, why the authorities refuse to inform his client’s family, and why they refuse to let him see his client, which they should have done within the first 48 hours of his arrest.

The Public Security Bureau replied that these were just “misunderstandings.” Hao was no longer in detention, he was under “house arrest,” the bureau said. At the same time, the case was “classified,” which explained why no information had been given about the charges against Hao and where he was being held. Finally, neither Hao’s family or his lawyer had been allowed to see him because they had not formally requested it, the bureau added.

Na said she has never been directly notified about her brother’s arrest. The classified nature of the arrest is completely new and has never previously been mentioned by the bureau. The comments of Hao’s lawyer are also posted on her blog. He said Hao should have been placed under "house arrest" no more than 30 days after his arrest. Calling the case "classified" was just a pretext for not disclosing the charges against Hao, he added.

Na finished her latest message with the follow comments: “If you have already visited my blog and are already aware of the efforts we have undertaken since his arrest, you will understand how unconvincing the Public Security Bureau’s explanations and excuses are.” In a phone with Reporters Without Borders, she added: “The police have made it clear to me that they are aware of everything I have said and done.”

Hao has a blog called Beijing or Bust in which he writes under the pseudonym of Beijing Loafer. He is also the North-East Asia editor of the website Global Voices, to which he contributes under name of Tian Yi. He was arrested on 22 February while preparing a report on China’s underground protestant churches.

Global Voices has set up a Hao support site: http://ethanzuckerman.com/haowu


Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org




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