The reporter and writer Huang, 81, known by his pen name Tie Liu (Iron Flow), was placed under criminal detention by Beijing police on September 13, 2014. On October 23, Beijing police charged Huang with illegal business activities and “creating a disturbance,” according to The New York Times. Tie’s detention could be linked to an essay he wrote claiming that Liu Yunshan, director of propaganda, was undermining the president’s purported liberal tendencies, Tie’s lawyer told The New York Times. Huang’s work was published on the Internet and in Chinese publications based outside the country.
Huang spent 1957-1980 in labor camps for being a “rightist.” In July 2007, Tie Liu started Wangshi Weihen (Scars of the Past), a magazine circulated among non-governmental organizations, for others labeled “rightists” to exchange ideas. The closing of the magazine was announced on August 25, 2011. Tie Liu declared in September 2010 that he would set up the Tie Liu Journalism Fund with one million yuan [US$163,000] to support journalists and writers persecuted for their reporting. In October of the same year, Tie Liu joined a group of Chinese journalists in signing an open letter to the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Congress calling for control over media to be lifted.
Late in 2014, he was being held in Beijing No. 1 Detention Center, waiting for a trial date to be set. According to his lawyer, Tie Liu was interrogated around the clock and suffered shock and incontinence as a result.