China authorities detain writer for articles critical of senior official

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Originally published by Jurist on September 15, 2014.

[JURIST] Chinese writer Huang Zerong, known also by his pen name Tie Liu, was detained by Chinese authorities Sunday morning for allegedly publishing articles critical of Communist Party propaganda chief Liu Yunshan [Brookings backgrounder]. According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the 81-year-old writer was [SCMP report] “criminally detained on charges of ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble.'” Huang spent 23 years in prison after being labeled [BBC report] a “rightist” by the Chinese regime during Mao Zedong’s crackdown[Britannica backgrounder] on liberals. His name was later cleared by the Communist Party in 1980.

China’s human rights record has garnered international attention for the government’s treatment of the growing civil rights movement in the country, led by a number of prominent rights activists and attorneys. Last week the legal defense team representing prominent Chinese human rights activist Guo Feixiong [CHRD profile], decided to boycott [JURIST report] the start of Guo’s pending trial over procedural irregularities, which resulted in adjournment of the proceedings at the Guangzhou People’s Court in Southern China. In June a Chinese court denied bail [JURIST report] to prominent human rights lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, who is likely to be indicted in the country’s attempt to deter growing legal activism. Pu was detained [JURIST report] in May for “causing a disturbance” after he attended a weekend meeting that urged an investigation into the 1989 crackdown of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

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