July 4, 2006

Day 133: Wall Street Journal front page story

Filed under: About Hao Wu, News — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 3:17 am

The WSJ’s Geoffrey Fowler has an in-depth story titled Gray Zone: An Arrest in China Spotlights Limits to Artistic Freedom in China, detailing Hao’s detention and the context in which it happened. Here’s how it begins:

Gray Zone
An Arrest in China
Spotlights Limits
To Artistic Freedom
Hao Wu Set Out to Make Film
On Unofficial Churches,
Then Vanished From Sight
Blog Advice: ‘Be Careful, Man’
July 3, 2006; Page A1

After 12 years in the U.S., filmmaker Hao Wu returned to his homeland two years ago to document the changes shaping Chinese society. He fell in with a crowd of artists and writers and often wrote on his blog about balancing American ideals of civil liberty with the practical realities he found in China.

“Change has to happen,” he wrote in a Feb. 17 posting. “But the Chinese have to figure it out themselves.”

Five days later, Mr. Wu was arrested and he has been in detention ever since. His alleged crime remains a mystery to his friends, his family and even the lawyer his sister hired to help. These people believe he was detained over his work on a documentary film about Christian churches that aren’t recognized by the Chinese government. The lawyer, Wu Yigang, says the Beijing police told him the detention is related to “state secrets,” which limits the possibility of a defense. The Public Security Ministry didn’t respond to questions.

After describing the contradictory and often confusing cultural and political situation in China, Fowler continues:

In 2004, he moved to Beijing and worked as a filmmaker. His film “Beijing or Bust” featured American-born Chinese who moved to China’s capital and, like Mr. Wu were pursuing a future there. The film showed last September at a film festival held by the San Diego Asian Film Foundation.

Mr. Wu holds a green card but hasn’t yet received U.S. citizenship, according to his friends. “His dream is for speaking out freely, and for making films…to let people in other countries see what was really happening in China,” says his sister Nina Wu, in a March interview. Ms. Wu, a mutual-fund manager in Shanghai, quit her job recently to pursue her brother’s release full time. “He knows there are some problems here but he loves China and thinks things are getting better and better.”

Click here to read the rest.

It has been nearly a month since Nina last wrote on her blog. I’ve confirmed that she’s ok. However her health is not great and she’s under a lot of pressure. Please hit the comments section and share some supportive words with her, and please go over to her Chinese blog and let her know that you are rooting for her, and for Hao.

Also don’t forget to sign the petition and write letters to your elected representatives and local media. If you have a website or blog click here for “Free Hao Wu” badges you can put on your site.


  1. Hao Wu Arrest Makes Front Page of the Wall Street Journal…

    Good for them. Maybe it’ll help keep this story alive. So sad, watching the feeling morph from hope to resignation in recent weeks…….

    Trackback by The Peking Duck — July 4, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  2. Glad to see the WSJ is keeping this story alive. Don’t let the world forget about him! :)

    Comment by Raj — July 4, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

  3. I am not able to access Nina’s blog, but I have posted a link to Free Hao Wu on my own blog, and I have signed the petition.

    Comment by J.P. Farris — July 4, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  4. I agree. The arch of justice is wide, but it bends towards freedom. We won’t forget.

    Comment by Steve — July 9, 2006 @ 6:01 am

  5. […] Hao whose picture has become a fixed feature on this site and many blogs has been released from detention according to report from a family members. He has beenĀ detained by the Chinese authority for several months. By Fola Feedbacks on this entry via RSS 2.0 Please leave a Comment or discuss via Trackback! Comments Please Leave a Comment! […]

    Pingback by EthnicLoft » Wu Hao Released — July 11, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  6. I’m glad to hear Wu Hao is free.You must be proud of the effort you have put in;and you,Nina, are a “real person”
    in my estimation.
    Good luck in your efforts. Francis

    Comment by francis lane — August 1, 2006 @ 8:20 pm

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