torsdag 2. september 2021

Journalist-Turned-Rights Attorney Held Incommunicado in China's Liaoning

Rights lawyer Zhou Xiaoyun, who formerly worked as a senior editor at the cutting-edge Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper in Guangzhou, remains incommunicado after being held under "residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL)," RFA has learned. Zhou was initially detained by police in the northeastern province of Liaoning around six months ago on suspicion of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," a charge frequently used to target peaceful critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

He was held incommunicado under RSDL, but now that the six-month limit has been reached, he is now likely being held under criminal detention on the same charges, people familiar with the case told RFA.

"According to the information that emerged [on Aug. 29], he is being held under criminal detention now," journalist Hong Tao told RFA. "Somebody is taking the opportunity to deal with him in the current political and law enforcement climate."

"It's likely to be an official in the local government in Panjin going after him," Hong said. "They are just trumping up some charges to pin on him, and they've just changed the kind of compulsory measures he is under to criminal detention."