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China: CPJ supports effort to release filmmaker and blogger Wu Hao

New York, March 30, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists supports calls by Wu Na for the release of her brother Wu Hao, a documentary filmmaker and blogger detained by police in Beijing on February 22. Nina Wu, as she is also known, did not publicize the detention until March 22, when her family became convinced that authorities would not release him.

In her own blog in Chinese, posted today at http://spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily/, Nina Wu criticizes the police for not giving the family even the most basic information about her brother. The blog, an unusual challenge to authorities, also said that officials had reneged on a promise to set a date for Wu’s release.

“Can these law enforcement organs really ignore his rights and those of his relatives, and after detaining him for five weeks not offer any explanation? That dignified state employees would carelessly trample on someone’s dignity, that a promise to a family member could be torn to shreds like wastepaper—what powers did the law grant them?” she asks in her first posting on the site. The site, hosted on Microsoft’s MSN Spaces, was initially accessible in China.

“The Chinese government really shoots itself in the foot by detaining people like Hao,” she wrote.

“CPJ supports Nina Wu’s efforts as she tries to gain the release of Wu Hao,” said Ann Cooper, CPJ’s executive director. “Wu Hao is the sort of courageous and thoughtful journalist China needs. Nina Wu’s energy and tactics to gain his freedom reflect the importance of the new media and the new voices we hear from so many different parts of China. Voices like theirs should not be stifled.”

Wu Hao, a Chinese citizen who returned home in 2004 after living in the United States since 1992, was working on a documentary about unregistered Christian churches in China—a politically sensitive subject. Around the time of his detention, police seized his video equipment and tapes from the apartment he was sharing with a friend.

Wu’s first documentary, “Beijing or Bust,” dealt with young U.S.-born Chinese living in Beijing. Wu also wrote under the name “Beijing Loafer” in his blog, also called “Beijing or Bust,” which is censored in China. Wu uses the name Tian Yi when writing for the U.S.-based international bloggers’ network Global Voices.


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