Chinese journalist released but restrictions remain
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||11 July 2013|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Chinese journalist released but restrictions remain, 11 July 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51e7a4b912.html [accessed 13 December 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Hong Kong, July 11, 2013 – The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Chinese filmmaker and photographer Du Bin after 37 days of detention but calls on authorities to refrain from pursuing formal charges against him.
Du Bin speaks on his phone after being released conditionally from jail. (AP/Hu Jia)
Du told the New York Times that after his arrest on June 1 in Beijing, officials had accused him of "picking quarrels and making trouble," but never filed charges. He said that now, despite his release, authorities could try him on those charges, which carry a jail term of up to five years. He told the BBC that he has been forbidden from leaving Beijing and must be available for further questioning by authorities.
A week before his arrest, Du had published The Tiananmen Massacre, a book on the 1989 government crackdown against protesters. He told the BBC that officials had questioned him about the book as well as a recent documentary he made on a labor camp in China's Liaoning province, which exposed torture of mostly Falun Gong practitioners.
"While we're relieved that Du Bin has been released from custody, we remain concerned about his uncertain fate and the restrictions placed against him," said Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program coordinator in New York.
According to data from WeiboTrends, government censors have deleted mentions of Du's name on the popular Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo, removing posts from users who simply said his name, "Du Bin!," upon hearing of his release.
Du told the Times that police did not warn him against talking to the media, an admonishment often given to political dissidents upon their release. "This," said Du, "is progress for China."