New York, July 11, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today’s release of blogger and documentary filmmaker Wu Hao, who was detained without charge for more than four months. Authorities had denied him access to a lawyer and withheld information on his whereabouts and the allegations against him.
“We’re relieved that Wu Hao has been released, but we remain deeply troubled by the circumstances under which he disappeared for more than four months while his family was kept in the dark,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said.
Wu returned to his home in Beijing this afternoon, his sister, Wu Na, told CPJ. It is unclear whether a legal case against him is still pending. Wu, detained on February 22 in Beijing, had been working on a documentary about underground Christian churches in China. On February 24, Wu’s editing equipment and several videotapes were removed from his apartment in Beijing.
He also wrote about media issues and life in Beijing for the blog Beijing or Bust.
Wu’s sister has been documenting efforts to win her brother’s release on her own blog, where she described frustrated attempts to learn where and why he was being held.
Beijing police told the family that his detention was related to state secrets, according to Wu Na’s blog.
In today’s entry, Wu’s sister wrote only that he had been released: “I just got a call at home and was informed that my brother was released. Thank you all for your concern, but he needs some silence. If I have more information, I will post it on this blog.”
CPJ research shows that more than 30 journalists—half of them Internet writers—remain imprisoned in China in connection with their work. Most of them are held on charges relating to national security.