Shanghai Writer Li Jianhong Detained

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Shanghai Writer Li Jianhong Detained

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, December 20, 2007)- Li Jianhong (李剑虹,also known as Xiaoqiao (小乔)), Shanghai writer and activist, was detained by the National Security Unit (Guobao) of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau (PSB) Pudong Sub-division on December 19, 2007. Shanghai police told Li that she was detained in order to prevent her from attending an Independent Chinese PEN gathering scheduled to be held on December 22 in Beijing.

Since December 14, Li has been monitored by the police. On December 15, Li tried evading the police by staying at her friend’s residence. Li is due to move house this week, and she returned home on December 18 to manage related matters. That evening, a group of plainclothes police barged into Li’s home and put her under house arrest. On December 19, Li and her father were taken to the police station. The policemen refused to release Li and threatened her father that if he disagreed with them detaining Li at a hotel, he would be detained at the police station. Failure to cooperate, the police warned, would result in Li’s new home being surrounded by police, who would make a scene in her new neighborhood and put her whole family under house arrest.

Li is now detained at a hotel. Chinese police routinely detain people in police-owned or government-run hotels, or rent hotel rooms for the purpose of incarceration. Police told Li the detention was requested by the Beijing PSB’s National Security Unit, and she would not be released until December 25. Police also told her that the Beijing police intercepted information about the Independent Chinese PEN gathering on December 22 and would obstruct that gathering.

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