SCMP reports: “A former journalist who broke the story of the deaths of five street children in Bijie, Guizhou, a week ago has been sent on ‘a vacation’ by local authorities trying to contain the fallout from the tragedy.
“Li Muzi, the son of Li Yuanlong, said his father had been taken away by the authorities at 1pm on Wednesday and put on a plane at Guiyang airport for ‘a holiday’ at a tourist destination he did not want disclosed.
“‘My father told me he received several phone calls before he was taken away from home,’ said Li Muzi, who is studying in the United States. He keeps in contact with his father over the internet and by phone. ‘Apparently they are trying to prevent him from helping other reporters follow up on the incident.’
“Li Yuanlong, a former Bijie Daily reporter, has written four postings on Kdnet.net – a popular online bulletin board on the mainland – since last Friday detailing the circumstances that led to the five boys’ deaths in a wheeled refuse bin in Bijie’s Qixingguan district that morning.
“The victims, all brothers or cousins aged nine to 13, died of carbon monoxide poisoning after lighting a fire in the bin to escape the cold, according to an initial investigation by the city government.
“Follow-up reports by mainland media that accused the local authorities of failing to act on parents’ pleas about the five missing boys for more than a week triggered a huge outcry.”
We all know that the forced vacation obviously means illegal detention to silent the ex-journalist. If you read my post about a person sent by the police to a labor camp for blogs against Bo Xilai’s sing-red campaign and has lost his self-confidence and filled with fear when he was released a year later, you understand what the police can do to silent you. (See my post “Red Song Rebel Released after Terror in Labor Camp” on November 21)
To some extent, China remains a police state and is in dire need of the rule of law.Source: SCMP “Guizhou man who broke tragic story of dumpster boys sent on ‘vacation'”
- China to reform 1950s labour camp system, but won’t abolish (chinadailymail.com)
- China Journalist Who Reported Children’s Deaths Held (nytimes.com)
- Chinese detain ex-newsman who reported on boys’ deaths in trash bin (seattletimes.com)
Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues