MARCH 15, 2005
Posted: May 4, 2005

Liu Hongbin, freelance


Liu, a poet and freelance radio journalist who lives in exile in the United Kingdom, was banned from returning to China to visit his mother, who had fallen seriously ill.

Liu, who has been in exile since 1989, learned that a ban on his return to China was renewed on March 15, 2005. He had been harassed the prior fall, when he sought to visit his mother. In October 2004, Liu and his 3-year-old daughter were detained upon arrival in Beijing. He and his daughter were held in a detention center for three hours before being transferred to a hotel, where they were held incommunicado overnight before being allowed to continue on their journey to visit his mother in the city of Qingdao. Liu’s daughter was distraught and suffered insect bites on her face and legs.

Liu’s writings became well known during the pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square. As well as being a prominent poet and literary figure, Liu has worked as a journalist for the Chinese service of Radio France International since 2000. He has also made freelance contributions to independent magazines in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States.

In articles and in interviews that have appeared in the Western media, Liu has spoken out for democratic reform in China.