My Global Voices colleague Hao Wu (who wrote on GV as Tian Yi) has been held in detention in China since February 22nd. He was detained by the Beijing department of the State Security Bureau – no charges have been filed, and we don’t know why he’s being detained. We believe his detention is connected to a documentary he had been filming about underground churches in China… but it also may have been connected to his personal blog, or to his work with Global Voices.
We’ve been in touch with his family since shortly after his arrest. Initially, they asked his international colleagues to be silent about the arrest, fearing that attention would lead to him being detained longer. It’s now become clear that waiting isn’t a viable strategy, and his family has agreed to let us start publicizing his situation to the blogosphere and the media at large.
With that in mind, Rebecca MacKinnon, I and other friends of Hao Wu have put up a new website, freehaowu.org. We’ll use the site to tell bloggers and journalists about Hao’s case and try to call attention to his detention. To that end, I’ve put together a set of badges – scroll down for the images and code – that you’re welcome to put on your webpage or blog to call attention to Hao Wu’s detention.
Since putting up the site a few hours ago, we’ve already gotten several people asking, “What can we do?” The answer, unfortunately, is “not much”. We’ve asked the family if we can start a petition or lobby political leaders on Hao Wu’s behalf – they’ve asked us not to at this point. Our goal at this point is to get enough people in the blogosphere talking about Hao Wu that Chinese government officials notice… which may hasten his release… or so that US government officials notice, possibly putting pressure on Hu Jintao in his trip to the US in April.
I don’t have a ton of information about the situation beyond what’s on the freehaowu.org blog – you’re welcome to direct questions to me or to freehaowu AT gmail.com
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