March 23, 2006

The world reacts

Filed under: News — ethanz @ 5:55 pm

I just wanted to offer my thanks to everyone who has blogged about Hao Wu’s detention or put a badge on their site. Technorati sees roughly a hundred posts about Hao Wu in the past two days; looking through my server logs, I see over two hundred bloggers who’ve added one of the four badges we provided on the siteor remixed them.

Some of the posts are from people who know Hao Wu - Yan from Glutter was on a BBC World Service panel with Hao about a week before his arrest. She offers a partial transcript of the BBC panel, as well as this thought:

I am totally in shock at the moment, so very upset. I thought he was very intelligent, and articulate. I even mused on the blog, that he might not be saying everything he believed in because he might not want the authorities after him… I think he was being careful already, he never said he believed in free speech, he didn’t say anything that was anti the communist government, but he did say something about the project he was working on. Which goes to show, under a totalitarian regime, you never know what one says may interest the authorities.

Please help him. Put up the banner. Write it on the blog. Just let people know.

Lisa at Paper Tiger briefly worked with Hao Wu when he was an aspirating filmmaker in the US. She offers these thoughts on his detention:

It’s hard for me to know what to say, except that Hao is a great person, with talent and heart and vision, and that for the Chinese government to detain him is yet another sign of how the CCP still squanders the talent of its own people, how it is destroying China’s future in the name of “social harmony,” which more than anything else seems to be a figleaf of ideological cover for the exercise of raw power and untrammeled authority. Hao never challenged the CCP. The only way in which his work could be considered “political” is that he does not censor his own observations, that he thinks freely and isn’t afraid to say what he thinks.

Support for Hao Wu is coming from all over the world:

Martin Varsavsky in Madrid: Cuando Arrestan un bloguero en China

Melisa De Leon in Panama: Free Hao Wu!

Peking Duck from Taipei: It’s an outrage: Beijing or Bust Blogger Held by Chinese “Security” Bureau

Dr. Politics from Sri Lanka

and dozens of others, including Afromusing, BoingBoing, Blogcritics, Instapundit, and Black Looks.

The story is also being picked up - gradually - by the mainstream media, including Radio Free Asia and Washington Monthly. And Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists and Committee to Protect Bloggers have helped spread the word, demanding Hao Wu’s immediate release.

What will the attention do? We don’t know. The hope is that, the more people are talking about Hao Wu’s unjustified arrest and detention, the better chance that Chinese government will feel compelled to release him, or at least formally charge him. But it’s hard to know whether outside pressure will be felt in China, or whether this pressure will lead to our friend’s release.

Thanks to everyone for your help so far and for more help in the future.


  1. Ethan, please let us know what else we can do.

    I am trying to get some other blogs to put up posts, but beyond that…

    Thanks to everyone here and around the world who are working for Hao’s release.

    Comment by Other Lisa — March 23, 2006 @ 10:59 pm

  2. It’s good to see that a lot of people care. I put a badge on my site the other day. Thanks!

    Comment by Shay — March 23, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  3. I knew Hao Wu by email only, but he comes across as a really nice guy. I’d like to do anything I can to try get him out of detention. Would it be worth trying to spread the word among the Chinese blogging community? The Chinese authorities seem much more sensitive to what’s happening in the local blogosphere. Any idea of who the leading lights are in the Chinese language blogging world and how they might be prompted to take up - or even debate - what’s happened to Hao Wu?

    Comment by michael — March 24, 2006 @ 2:02 am

  4. Myself and all of Hao’s friends from University of Michigan hope he is OK and we are proud of him.
    Sad to be reminded a great country like China is still led by a a few retrogrades.

    Comment by Luis San Martin — April 1, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

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