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China: Citizen reporter Zuola carted off

Categories: East Asia, China, Breaking News, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Law, Technology

Very breaking news, but Chinese citizen reporter Zhou “Zuola” Shuguang [1] has just tweeted his own detention [2] as it was happening on Wednesday afternoon China time.

(As of 17:15, Zuola was back at his computer; he seems to have been placed under some sort of ‘town arrest’. Updates below)

Zuola recently bought a Blackberry 8320 [3] to help him with his citizen reporting endeavors, and he appears to have been able to use it along with Twitterberry [4] to send out a few short messages as he was being escorted from his home into a vehicle and driven off:


@zuola [5]: Head of security at Meitanba Mining Group Director Liu w/ 3 others taking me now back to Meitanba Village, scared my parents.


@zuola [6]: I've been made to get into their car. I want my parents to confirm what has happened today, what time and place and w/ who, the license plate number of the car I was taken away in. I'm fine, in their car, it feels a bit like I'm being intercepted.


@zuola [7]: The two people who came this morning under the pretense that I'd violated the one child policy are here with Security Dir. Liu now. Turns out they've forced me to go with them.


@zuola [8]: Thank you everyone for your attention. I'm still in the vehicle.

Earlier this morning Zuola tweeted [9] that he wouldn't be online today as he was being visited by “government people”: two from the birth planning office (mentioned above) following up on a report that he had violated China's one-child policy (Zuola has no children) and two to see take his parents out for “tea” and a chat.

Last month Zuola mentioned on his blog feeling nervous about being in Beijing for the Olympics as he had planned, and decided it better to sit it one out and return home to Meitanba, Hunan [10] province. Prior to that he got busted [11] in Shenyang just following the Yilishen incident [12], where he had traveled to do some citizen reporting for his blog [13].

Updates hopefully coming soon.



@zuola [14]: Changsha Mining Group Security Director Liu has taken me from Fengmuqiao back to Meitanba. They've demanded that I stay in Meitanba and that if I do, they'll leave me alone. If I leave, they'll bring me back. I stated that that I am not an employee of Changsha Mining Group, although my dad was until he retired from there 13 years ago.


@zuola [15]: I'm in vehicle 湖A 94369 on the way back to Meitanba, there were four people in the vehicle just now.


@zuola [16]: It seems they were a joint task force from the Ningxia Guobao [17] squad, Changsha Mining Group, Fengmuqiao Village government, pretty effective work. First they checked to see that my mobile phone had left the Meitanba area, then they sent Fengmuqiao government people to stand guard, later notifying the Changsha Mining Group Security Division to drive over and pick me up, and take me back to Meitanba, and that was it.


@zuola [18]: I'll just state that aside from having been forced into their vehicle to be taken back to Meitanba, my person is free now. However, I do hope that a journalist will be able to accompany me to Beijing, they won't know what to do then and I expect that it will make for a very vivid story.


@zuola [19]: Changsha Mining Group Security Director Liu took me from Fengmuqiao back to Meitanba. They've demanded that I stay in Meitanba and that if I do, they'll leave me alone. If I leave, they'll bring me back. I don't work for the Changsha Mining Group.