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China 18 December 2007

Writer arrested after criticising Beijing Olympics

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of dissident writer Wang Dejia, who was arrested at his home in Guilin, in the southern province of Guangxi, on 13 December and was charged with "subverting state authority." He uses the pen-name of Jing Chu.

"Eight months before the Beijing Olympic Games, it is very worrying to learn of the arrest of another writer who had criticised the way the games are being organised," the press freedom organisation said. "It suggests that there could be an increase in repression of Chinese who dare to voice reserves about the games, either online or to foreign journalists."

Wang was arrested when police came and searched his home in the Quanzhou Chengbei district of Guilin on the afternoon of 13 December, removing articles, books and his computer. His family said he was accused of defamation and was taken to the Quanzhou Chengbei police station in the early evening. Later that night, the family learned that he had been charged with "inciting subversion of state authority."

His brother and his cousin went to the police station where he had been taken, but were not allowed to see him.

His arrest could be linked to articles he had written and posted on the Minzhu Luntan (Democracy Forum http://asiademo.org/) and the Aboluowang forum. They carry such headlines as "Illegal possession of state secrets: a Communist Party invention for persecuting prisoners of conscience", "Manacled Olympic Games will bring the public nothing but misfortune" and "With journalist Li Yuanlong sentenced to two years for four articles, how much will I get?".

Wang met US embassy representatives in October to discuss the human rights situation. His family thinks his arrest is linked to both the meeting and his articles.




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