March 25, 2006

Interviews with Hao’s Sister

Filed under: News — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 1:39 am

Reporters Without Borders spoke to Hao’s sister, Na Wu. Here’s the quote:

We have only spoken to him on the phone three times. And each time, it has been he who has called, because we still do not know where he is being held. During these conversations, he tells us that everything is OK and we must not worry. He even said that he didn’t want a lawyer. But it was obvious that he could not speak freely. I went to the police station several times. They refused to give me a paper confirming the arrest of my brother. The first time they told me that he would be coming out within a few days. The second time, it was a few weeks. And now they tell me that I will have to wait another month. We have the right to know what is happening to him. He has done nothing that could harm society and there is no reason for him to be detained.

Radio Free Asia’s Cantonese service has also interviewed her. She spoke in Mandarin Chinese and the full interview with her Mandarin answers can be downloaded here. Here is my rough translation of her answers. Please feel free to post corrections in the comments section:

A: Until now we have not received any explanation as to why my brother was detained, or when I can see my brother. The police and other government departments aren’t able to give us any direct answer.

Q: Did you talk to the State Security Bureau?

A: I went to their door but was not able to enter. Because the Beijing Public Security bureau and the Beijing City office of the State Security bureau have their signplates over the same building. So since I couldn’t go in I went to the public petitions office of the public security bureau. They had an officer in charge of the case talk to me on the phone. He said that things were moving in a positive direction and I may be able to see my brother quite soon. But when I asked how soon they weren’t willing to give me a specific time. After the phone call was finished the policeman in the petition office told me, I can definitely tell you that your brother has been detained.

Q: When was that?

A: That was on March 20th. It was just recently. Then they said the ongoing investigation involved state secrets so they couldn’t tell me. That was the kind of answer they gave me. From the perspective of our family, we believe that my brother has not done anything to harm other people and has not done anything harmful to society. In his film that he was making or in the other things he did, there was nothing that challenged the government’s power or anything like that. As family members we cannot understand why the government is holding my brother.

Q: What methods are you using to get him released?

A: We are working with a lawyer and through lawful channels to get answers. Second we are hoping to use various public channels to continue searching for my brother, and to send the message that since they have no good reason to hold my brother, they should release him as soon as possible.

I do not know Cantonese and am unable to translate the newscaster speaking before and after the interview. It may include other information which others are welcome to add in the comments section of this post.


  1. well dont know what to say here,
    if any one,especialy non chinese says anything
    he is accused of being a racist-imperialist-whatever…
    it is upto the chinese to decide what they want…
    if they dont oh well the rest of the world still
    trades with middle east, so they will go along with
    the chinese.

    Comment by DeathValleyWanderer — March 26, 2006 @ 12:00 am

  2. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things in China are done the same way in the rest of the world. It’s a completely different thought process and the reasons you think he is being detained for may have nothing to do with it. It really can be a simple case of this gentleman having an enemy somewhere who wanted to turn his life upside down. It can be very, very, complex. In Beiing, with the correct relationships, you can have anyone arrested for a 20,000 yuan (~$2400. USD) bribe. Yes, it is that simple. The trick here is to find out who he pissed off and finding out what they want.

    Stop going to the PSB (Public Security Bureau) - you need to find the right people at Beijing Shi Jian Cha Yuan (equivalent to the District Attorney’s office) — they are the ones who call the shots and the ones who authorized this gentlemans arrest.

    In the West, we have this mentality that you are innocent until proven guitly. In China, the belief with law enforcement is that everyone has skeletons in their closet and if they dig deep enough and for long enough, they will unearth something.. it is then when the charges will be filed.

    Right now what has happened is he has been accused of some crime against the State. This is standard practice. Thats all they need - an accusation so damning (national security, crime against the people) that they can hold him without charges. This way they can say what they are saying; cannot give out information, etc. and are freed from normal criminal procedure laws. What they then do is what I described above - go digging.

    And they will find something most likely. Because now with all of this publicity, you are dealing with a national FACE issue. Someone is going to get in big trouble if he is released without any charges sticking. And I know from experience, this person or persons within the PSB and jianchayuan who instigated this, will do everything in their power to make sure their lives are protected no matter what. See, if they release him without charge or without any conviction, that means they did something wrong.. and now with all of this blogging, etc, it will be national slap in the face, and also will expose the State to an illegal arrest lawsuit..well, not the State specifically since the Party cannot be sued, but the police, etc can be.

    The criminal procedure law of the PRC is a ~50 page, vaguely written document which allows the powers that be to toss his case back and forth through strange and often misinterpreted regulations which will result in this gentleman being held for a long time.

    I speak from first hand experience and will not post anything more than that about the situation we were in.

    One of the best things you can do is start raising funds to hire people with mega-guanxi (very strong relationships) and to pay the right people. A lawyer is useless in this case. Absolutely 100% useless.

    It will be very interesting to see how this pans out; I personally find it impossible that the PRC will cave in . I think this publicity will actually damage his chances, but lets hope not.

    You have to figure out a way that the people who authorized his arrest and the police who did arrest him, can save face and protect their jobs/lives. You also need to figure out who is the mystery figure (always is one in a case like this) who got the ball rolling. Find out this persons beef with this gentleman and get it fixed.

    Comment by JadedLaowai — March 27, 2006 @ 3:29 am

  3. Oh, I apparently did not read everything correctly: if indeed he was picked up by the National Public Security Bureau, Beijing jianchayuan will NOT be involved. And consider that the NPSB is the equivalent to the CIA. Have their own courts, etc. If this is the case, wow. It’s at a level of seriousness beyond comprehension.

    Comment by JadedLaowai — March 27, 2006 @ 4:14 am

  4. Free Mumia! Now.

    Comment by jessica copeland — March 27, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  5. Half a million Human Beings marched through LA. It is only dismissed by US CIA controlled public media as “thousands protested.” Go to BBC discussion board, my Christian Americans friends, see how the world see you guys. There is NO freedom in Christianity. It is a violent and vile religious boundage. American law makers like to brand themselves as “Free and Open”, well, as long as you do not “Cross the LINES”. Yes, the western society is filled with “Borders and Lines”. Race, religion, culture, these are good examples. The west need to realize the BROWN and NON-CHRISTIAN are just at righeous and full-human. Label them “terrorists”, “illegal” and “animals”, only discredit the US himself. The racist, discriminatory and sometimes savage US and EU immigration policy is a brutally violation of human rights. Disagreesers, like the Muslim charities Palesianea professor and the Black Panther leader Mummia are raided and enprisoned. Muslim clergies must preach pro-west messages, otherwise they are enprisoned as terrorist. Imagine China require all US Christian missionaries to preach pro-China message. I won’t even bother go to Iraq war. America is an ignorant, violent and hostile nation, despised by the whole world.

    Comment by jessica copeland — March 27, 2006 @ 6:49 pm

  6. Thank you, Jessica - that is very helpful and relevant to the situation at hand and purpose of this blog. How it relates to China this gentlemans detention is beyond me. Maybe you could waste more space explaining.

    Comment by JadedLaowai — March 28, 2006 @ 5:26 am

  7. I was going to put “Jessica Copeland” in quotes - because I think she’s a troll who’s left a link on my blog about China’s “freedom of religion’ - and direct her to a “Free Mumia” blog. Because god knows there’s plenty of those…

    Comment by Other Lisa — March 28, 2006 @ 7:48 am

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