Washington, D.C., November 28, 2018–Police in Xinjiang detained Lu Guang, an award-winning, New York-resident, freelance photographer whose work has focused on environmental and social issues in China, in early November, according to media reports. Lu’s family lost contact with him on November 3 and later confirmed his arrest with authorities in Xinjiang, according to a statement posted on Twitter November 26 by Lu’s wife Xu Xiaoli from New York. Lu had been invited by a friend to Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, to share his experience and give guidance on photography, according to Xu’s statement. Xu said that she had not received any notice of the arrest or information about charges.
“Chinese authorities must immediately account for Lu Guang’s whereabouts, allow him to travel freely, and halt the harsh measures taken against journalists throughout the country,” said Steven Butler, Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Lu’s detention is a high-profile illustration of the cruel and arbitrary way that China detains journalists and other civilians in Xinjiang.”
At least 41 journalists were imprisoned in China at the end of 2017, making it the second largest jailer of journalists worldwide.