Activist held in China after retweeting ‘ink girl’ video of defaced Xi Jinping poster

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Originally published by HKFP on December 5, 2020

A Chinese activist has been detained by police after voicing his support on Twitter for “ink girl” Dong Yaoqiong, who defaced a poster of leader Xi Jinping in 2018.

Police in Zhuzhou city in Hunan province are holding Ou Biaofeng in administrative detention for 15 days for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” according to his wife Wei Huanhuan’s Twitter account.

Dong Yaoqiong got her nickname by live-streaming a video of herself splashing ink on a poster of Xi while accusing the Communist Party of “thought control.” In a video released on Monday she said she was on “the brink of breaking down” due to intensive surveillance after being released from a psychiatric facility.

In the video, Dong said her freedom of movement and freedom to contact other people, including her father, were restricted. Ou told Apple Daily on Tuesday that Dong had only finally been able to contact her father that day.

已接到株洲市局电话通知:“欧彪峰因寻衅滋事被处行政处罚15日。”彪哥在电话里说这次的处罚纯粹是因为他的网络言论!— 魏欢欢 (@joyceweingo3) December 4, 2020

Dong Yaoqiong released from psychiatric institution. Police arranged work for her & told her she has no freedom of movement & cannot make any friends. Dong said these arrangements are extremely depressing & she had to speak out.— CHRD人权捍卫者 (@CHRDnet) November 30, 2020

Ou, who was detained on Thursday, voiced his support for Dong by tweeting on her behalf and retweeting the now-deleted video. He also was the one who told Dong about her father’s escape in a mining accident in Hunan.

Leo Lan, research and advocacy consultant at Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), said that it seemed Dong Yaoqiong had come under pressure because her tweets were suddenly deleted.

“Ou Biaofeng first tweeted Dong’s cry for help. He’s now detained, obviously due to the authorities’ attempt to silence him and punish him for exposing Dong’s situation,” Lan told HKFP.

“The Chinese government wants to control online speech as much as they can, even including information on Twitter, which is blocked on the mainland.” Users can sometimes employ a VPN to get round the block.

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