Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
China 18 June 2008

Cyber-dissident held for “illegal possession of state secrets,” wife forbidden to visit him

Zheng Li, the wife of detained cyber-dissident Huang Qi, was today refused the right to visit him in the Chengdu detention centre where he has been for the past eight days. His mother was not allowed to see him yesterday, either. Only his lawyer, Mo Shaoping, has the right to visit him.

Huang was arrested in Chengdu, the capital of the earthquake-hit province of Sichuan, on 10 June together with two colleagues, retired teacher Zuo Xiaohuan and Pu Fei, a volunteer who had been helping victims of the 12 May earthquake. The Chengdu police have accused Huang of “illegal possession of state secrets.” It is not know where or on what grounds Zuo and Pu are being held.

“Under Chinese law, any government document that has not been officially published can be used to accuse someone of illegal possession of state secrets,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It is an arbitrary charge that makes it easy to jail government opponents.”

The press freedom organisation added: “We call on the authorities to free Huang. His health is worrying as he suffers from stomach ailments and violent headaches due to the mistreatment he underwent while detained from 2000 to 2005.”

The editor 64Tianwang, a news website founded by Huang, said he thought the arrest of the three men could be linked to the site’s publication of three articles by retired university professor Zheng Hongling criticising the way the authorities handled the aid which the international community contributed to the earthquake relief operations.

Natural disasters were withdrawn in September 2005 from the list of subjects classified as state secrets.

MORE INFORMATION




In this country
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
All references to Tiananmen Square massacre closely censored for 20 years
12 May - China
Foreign reporters prevented from working in Sichuan a year after earthquake
24 April - China
Concern that detained Tibetan magazine editor is being tortured
25 March - China
Government blocks access to YouTube

in the annual report
China - Annual report 2008
China - Annual report 2007
China - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised
29 May - Sri Lanka
Journalists trying to cover fate of Tamils are threatened, obstructed