Persian Xiaozhao: My First “Tea” Experience (Part V) (With Comments)

Blogger Persian Xiaozhao wrote the following post after she was “invited to tea” by state security agents in Shanghai on Feb. 5, 2009 and questioned about her signing of Charter 08 and her interview with the Washington Post. The following excerpt has been translated by CDT’s Linjun Fan; this is the last segment of the five translations. Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV have been posted on CDT earlier.
They continued to ask, “Have you accepted interviews with the media?”
I thought to myself: You know this already. Why bother to ask? But I still replied, “Yes, I have.”
“Which press?”
“Washington Post.”
“When did the interview take place?”
“Jan. 19th, in the evening.”
“How did you find them?”
“I didn’t contact them. They contacted me first.”
“How did they get in touch with you?”
“I posted my email address on my blog. They saw it, and sent an email to me.”
“Therefore you set up the time of the appointment through emails?”
“No. Through a phone call. ”
“How was the interview conducted? Was it a phone interview?”
“No. It was a face-to-face one.”
“Why did you accept the interview?”
“Why?” I opened my eyes wide. “I have the right to accept an interview!”
Public entities need to observe the rule that they must, “refrain from doing anything that’s not clearly authorized by the law,” but individuals have the right to do anything that’s not prohibited by the law. I am very clear about which kinds of rights I have. What’s more, I had never talked to the foreign press before. I was quite curious.
“Where did the interview take place?”
“A restaurant. We talked while eating dinner.”
“Which restaurant?”
“On Huanghe Road. I couldn’t remember which one. There are many restaurants there on the road.

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