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China: Tweeting a detention experience

Yesterday, Guangzhou blogger Beifeng went hiking with a number of friends in Baiyun mountain. Some of them were wearing a t-shirt that carry a slogan from Xinhua Daily in1946 that says: one-party rule will bring disaster everywhere (一黨獨裁,遍地是災). It is a communist party slogan against the former ruling party Kuomingtang. The group of people were interrogated by six police and brought to the police station for further investigation. The tea-time lasted for more than eight hours and Beifeng reports on the process via twitter. Here is a translation of his tweets:

一些人穿着印刷有当年”新华日报”主张TEE人爬白云山,被六名警察盘查中。

Some people with the t-shirts that carry the slogan of past “Xinhua Daily” are interogated by six police. They are on their way to climb Baiyun mountain.

警号018356的警员最积极。

Police officier numbered 018356 is most active.

警察要带人去派出所,这些人不让,僵持中。

The police officers want to take them to the police station, but they don't want to go. There is a tension.

双方互拍中,警察要求删除拍下的视频。

Both sides are taking video of each other, the police officiers then ask us to delete the video.

有几个人身上的TEE写着”一党独裁,遍地是灾”。

The slogan on the t-shirts is “one party rule will bring disasters everywhere”.

现一干干人等被请去白云山所在分局,大家可致电查询事态进展。

Now all of them are invited to Baiyun police station. You can call up for further inquiry.

具体是广州市公安局白云山分局(广园中路805号),以查身份证为由。

The reason for taking us away is to check our I.D and the police station of Baiyun branch is located at Guangyuen Chong Road 805.

我自己没穿那件TEE,我是去爬山。

I didn't wear the t-shirt, I went there to climb the mountain.

共有九人被带到分局一间大房,房里没警察没摄像头,偶尔有打酱油的在门口闪过,相信是等市局的人来。大家在在屋里说笑话。

Nine of us are brought to the police branch. We are in a big room and there is no police officer there nor CCTV. From time to time, police officers walk pass the door. Probably they are waiting for the city police officers. We are making all kind of jokes in the room.

还在警局枯坐,有便衣进来问了文字出处,让大家自愿写下名字,有两朋友写了。外面雨很大。

Still sitting in the police station. A undercover police walks in and asks us about the source of the slogan and asks if we are willing to write down our names. Two of us write their names down. The rain is very heavy outside.

公安的同志们在开会,只派个人在门口不远外看着,很无聊,一个朋友在读圣经上的诗,几个人睡着了。

Police comrades are having meeting, and there is only a police officer attending to us. We are bored. A friend is reciting poem from the Bible. Some fall asleep.

有个朋友竟然从大门堂而皇之走了,哈,太恶搞了。

A friend just walked out from the police station front door. Ha, this is so funny.

白云山公安分局大门现在关起来了,是不是叫”逃羊补牢,犹未为晚?”可乐死了。

Now the Baiyun police branch close the front door. Remind me of a saying “it is not too late to fix the cell after the sheep has run away”. This is hilarious.

气氛紧张了些,警察也多了,要请我们吃饭,大伙没尿,要他们给个留置的理由。

The atmosphere is becoming tense and there are more police. They want to keep us for dinner. We ask them to give a reason for detaining us.

剩下的八人排排坐在公安局门口台阶,路过群众可围观并拍照。

Now the eight of us are sitting in the stair way at the front of the police station, passer-by can stop and watch and take picture of us.

一便衣把我们带上二楼会议室,说是警官要要见。警方至今没有出具任何手续。

An undercover takes us to a meeting room in the second floor. A senior police officer wants to see us. Up till now there isn't any procedural step taken.

开始一一做做笔录。

Now they are taking note.

以扰乱社会秩序为由做笔录中。

The reason for the written interrogation record is disturbing social order.

我在20分钟前离开警局,前后共8个小时,其他人应无大碍,详情后报,但至少野渡还得留下与国保喝茶。

I left the police station 20 mins ago. Have been detented for 8 hours. Other people should be fine, will report on that later. However, Yeh Du has to stay and have tea (being interrogated) with security police.

其他人被要求换上他们买的新衣服,留下旧衣服。我再三提出只有写扣押单才能留下衣服,他们不干,几番折腾的结果是我脱下旧衣服拿回家,但得穿上新衣服。给钱他们不要,光身不给。我衣服上写“Fucking revolution”及列宁中指图案。

Other people were asked to change into their new clothes and leave the old ones in the police station. I asked them to write a detention slip if they want us to leave our clothes. The police officers refused to do so. After a long negotiation, I took off my clothes and brought the old one home. But I had to wear the new one. I gave them money for the new clothes, they refused. I asked if I could just walk out without clothes, they wouldn't let me. By the way, the t-shirt that I wore had the slogan “Fucking revolution” with Lenin and his middle finger.

第一次喝茶,竟然是这样子,太出乎意料了。

This is my first “tea-time” experience. Totally out of my expectation.

我在笔录后面要求补充:我作为一个白云山的游客,一个国家的公民,在没有违反任何法律法规的情况下,对警方传唤置留超过六个小时的行为,本人深表遗憾。我希望国家能尊重每一个人的自由与权利,不要让类似的事情再次发生。

In their written record, I asked them to write down at the end: As a tourist in Baiyun mountain, as a citizen in this country, I feel regret that the police had detained me for more than six hours under the circumstance that I have not broken any law. I wish the country can respect every individual's freedom and will not let such incident happen again.

刚开始他们要我换下衣服,我要求开扣押单,一警察说,如果算是宣传品就直接没收销毁。后来说换下后直接剪碎,还拿了剪子来,我还是要求开扣押单。一警察有点怒,我说私人不要结怨。后来是再三汇报,方得以保留。

At first they asked me to change the clothes and I asked them to issue an official reciept for object detention. A police said if the object is a propaganda, they would destroy it. Later they suggested to cut it into pieces and brought the scissors in. I still requested the object detention slip. A police officer was getting angry and I told him that it was nothing personal. Then they consulted with the higher rank officers and eventually I could keep my t-shirt.

他们问为什么要开扣押单,我说,我一定会问你们要回这件衣服。

They asked me why I need the object detention slip, I said because I would get back my clothes.

或许他们想不到用什么名堂来问我们的话,才没有收我们的手机及没人看门让一个朋友出去了。他们在上面开了两个小时会,后来弄了一份打印的问讯提纲,想必也是层层请示后商量出来的。我跟他们说,不管怎么弄,都将会是一个笑话。

Probably they could not think of any excuse to detain us, that's why they did not take away our mobile and eventually let one of us escaped. They had two hours meeting and then printed out a question outline. They must have consulted with higher rank police officials to figure that out. I told them that the whole incident would turn into a joke.

野渡也回到家了,全部八人都已经回家。

Yeh Du is now back home. All eight of us are back home safe.

As the time line of the tweets are not clear, Beifeng added more details in his blog:

第一条信息的发布是在19日14时40分左右,带到白云山分局是15时15分左右,开始做笔录是18时许,8个人分开做,我做完笔录是在21时许,因要求取回衣服又多呆了一点时间,离开时是22时55分。

The first tweet was written at 14:40, 19th of July. We arrived at the Baiyun police station at around 15:15. The written record started at around 18:00. 8 of us did that separately. I finished at 21:00. Because I insisted to have my clothes back, I stay longer until 22:55.

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