China detains cyber-dissident who criticised Olympics
BEIJING (AFP) — A Chinese cyber-dissident who criticised the government over human rights abuses ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games has been detained on suspicion of subverting state power, his wife said Wednesday.
Wang Dejia, better known by his pen name Jing Chu, was hauled off by police who raided his home in the southern province of Guangxi last Thursday, his wife Wen Zhenyan told AFP.
"They said his crime was incitement to subvert state power," said Wen, who has been barred from seeing her husband.
She said his arrest was linked to articles he had written and posted on banned overseas websites in which he criticised China's human rights record, including the jailings of many writers.
In recent months, Wang also gave an interview to the Epoch Times, a media group backed by the banned sect Falun Gong, in which he claimed the Olympics would exacerbate the sufferings of Chinese people and leave them "living like dogs and pigs."
Wang blamed the "autocratic nation" for destroying ordinary people's homes in mass demolitions in order to build grandiose Olympic venues, and criticised China's intensified crackdown on dissidents.
"I am very worried about him and feel really pained," his wife said. "This regime, if you oppose it, it will only oppress you."
His wife said his arrest could also be connected with his meeting with US consulate representatives in October to discuss human rights in China.
A US embassy spokesman said he did not know if the meeting took place, and was looking into Wang's case.
Police in Guangxi refused to comment when contacted by AFP.
Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it was concerned to see further evidence of a crackdown linked to the Games.
"Eight months before the Beijing Olympic Games, it is very worrying to learn of the arrest of another writer who had criticised the way the Games are being organised," the group said in a statement
Despite China's pledge to ease curbs on media and individual freedoms ahead of the 2008 Olympics, human and media rights groups say Beijing's leaders are contining to tighten a crackdown on dissent amid increasing social unrest.
In an August report, Reporters Without Borders said at least 30 journalists and 50 cyber-dissidents were being detained in China for work that had angered authorities.
It ranks China 163rd out of 167 nations on its global press freedom index.