Zhang Jianhong

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

The founder and editor of popular news and literary Web site Aiqinhai (Aegean Sea) was taken from his home in Ningbo, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. In October, he was formally arrested on charges of “inciting subversion.”

Authorities did not clarify their allegations against Zhang, but supporters believed they were linked to his online articles that were critical of government actions. An editorial he wrote two days before his detention called attention to international organizations’ criticism of the government’s human rights record and in particular the poor treatment of journalists and their sources two years before the start of the Olympics. Zhang referred to the situation as “Olympicgate.”

Zhang was an author, screenwriter, and reporter who served one and a half years of “re-education through labor” in 1989 on counter-revolutionary charges for his writing in support of protesters. He was dismissed from a position on the local Writers Association and began working as a freelance writer.

His Web site Aiqinhai was closed in March 2006 for unauthorized posting of international and domestic news. He had also been a recent contributor to several U.S.-based Chinese-language Web sites, including Boxun News, the pro-democracy forum Minzhu Luntan, and Dajiyuan (Epoch Times).