On November 15th, five brothers and cousins aged between nine and thirteen died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Guizhou dumpster, where they had lit a fire to keep warm. Their deaths prompted a frenzy of soul searching in both social and state media which echoed the response to the death of a toddler in a Foshan market in 2011. Last week, in an apparent attempt by local government to cut off the flow of information on the case, the former journalist who brought the deaths to light was sent on “vacation” to an undisclosed location. From Josh Chin at China Real Time Report:
Li Yuanlong, who once worked as a reporter for the state-run Bijie Daily in the city of Bijie in Guizhou province, was taken to the airport along with his wife early Wednesday afternoon and “told to take a vacation” his son, Li Muzi, told China Real Time on Friday.
[…] The Bijie Public Security Bureau could not be reached for comment. A person answering the phone at the Bijie city government propaganda office said Mr. Li was traveling with his wife, citing messages posted to former journalist’s account on the web portal KDnet. “They are very happy now! That’s his own personal matter – why are you asking us?” the person said before hanging up.
[…] Li Fangping, a Beijing-based lawyer who has been keeping track of the situation, said that he had talked to Li Yuanlong when he was on his way to the airport. “I can confirm that he is travelling under control,” the lawyer, who is not related to Li Yuanlong, said.
“This is a way for (the local government) to maintain stability,” he added. “The public still wants more details, even though the local government has already dismissed the relevant people. Because
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