China Detains Three Youths for Documenting Censored Information about COVID-19Comments Off on China Detains Three Youths for Documenting Censored Information about COVID-19
Three young volunteers of “Terminus2049” Github website documenting censored news and information about COVID-19, Chen Mei (陈玫), Cai Wei (蔡伟), and Cai’s girlfriend Xiao Tang (小唐) went missing on April 19, 2020 and later confirmed detained by Beijing police, according to their family, friends and employers.
Their families and friends searched for them in vain. On April 23 and 24, Cai Wei and Xiao Tang’s families received notifications from Beijing Chaoyang Public Security Bureau about the two having been placed under “residential surveillance in (police) designated location,” a form of detention that allows the police to hold them incommunicado without access to a lawyer of their choice for up to six months. Both are held on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble) and Xiao Tang is also on suspicion of “harbouring a criminal”. Chen Mei’s family has not received any notification.
The Chinese authorities might have violated the PRC Criminal Procedure Law, as article 75 of the law stipulates that “residential surveillance in (police) designated location” applies to “endangering national security” and “terrorist activities,” while “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” does not belong to any of these categories of crimes.
All three youths were born in 1990s and university graduates. They were active in voluntary work for the github website “Terimus2049” (端点星), which documents censored articles and reports from mainstream media, websites, social media Weibo and WeChat. But it is unclear if their detentions are related to this work.
Renee Xia, Director (Mandarin, English), +1 863 866 1012, reneexia[at]nchrd.org
Frances Eve, Deputy Director of Research (English), +1 661 240 9177, franceseve[at]nchrd.org
Leo Lan, Research & Advocacy Consultant (Mandarin, Cantonese, English), +852 9623 3023, leolan[at]nchrd.org