Journalist Detained for Reporting Former Official's Sex Dungeon Murders

A journalist was detained for “revealing state secrets” after accusing Luoyang officials of covering up multiple kidnappings, rapes and murders by a former colleague. From The New York Times:

For a nation not yet inured to lurid and senseless crime, a report that a former civil servant in central China kept six women enslaved in an underground bunker — and that he killed two of them — was shocking enough.

But perhaps almost as disturbing, at least to some readers, was that the journalist who exposed the crime more than two weeks after the suspect’s arrest was detained by security agents who accused him of revealing state secrets ….

“I was only thinking about how to make my story as accurate as possible and to satisfy the public’s right to know, but I soon discovered that I failed to address the most important issue — face,” wrote Mr. Ji, a reporter for Southern Metropolis Daily, one of the country’s most aggressively independent publications. “Before the truth becomes a state secret, the public and myself need answers ….”

In his posting on Friday, Mr. Ji said he stumbled upon the story this week after spending a few days in Luoyang to investigate the murder of a local television reporter. In his follow-up article, he said his questioners deemed the case a state secret because, he later learned, they feared that its revelation might tarnish Luoyang’s quest to become a “Civilized City” as part of a national competition.

A further blemish on the city’s name is the beating and abduction of a Luoyang tourist in Beijing after he was mistaken for a petitioner. Six officials have been punished following the incident, according to Xinhua.

Update: Shanghaiist notes uncertainty surrounding Li Hao’s former occupation: “… while most Chinese sources say he was a firefighter, AFP reports he possibly worked for the city’s ‘technological supervision bureau.’”

September 23, 2011 9:58 PM
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Categories: Law, Society