Anti-corruption official detained

From the South China Morning Post:

The Communist Party chief of Fujian province’s Lianjiang county has been detained along with his wife after accusing his superiors of blocking corruption investigations.

was taken away from the county’s Lianjiang Royal Hotel by unidentified people on Wednesday afternoon before he was scheduled to attend a meeting.

The Boxun News Network website reported yesterday that the people who detained Mr Huang came from the provincial capital Fuzhou . It quoted Huang’s relatives as saying that his wife was also missing.

Telephone calls to Mr Huang and his residence remained unanswered yesterday.

When contacted, staff at the Lianjiang Royal Hotel said they were unaware of the conference Mr Huang was scheduled to attend.

The provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection refused to comment on the report, but would not deny it.

An official with the Lianjiang county government said Mr Huang did not show up at work yesterday.

Mr Huang, 52, won national fame after going public with his allegations in a letter to the online edition of the People’s Daily in August.

The former farmer wrote he had been forced to wear a bulletproof vest for six years after receiving 26 death threats due to his unrelenting battle against corruption.

Mr Huang blew the whistle on Fuzhou officials, accusing them of selling government land at prices below market value and denying displaced homeowners proper compensation.

Although the Lianjiang party chief received media and public support for his letter, he was subject to harassment and seven people were apparently detained after trying to help him.

The open letter was pulled not long after it was published, and the Fuzhou government posted a retort accusing Mr Huang himself of corruption.

The Boxun News Network attributed Mr Huang’s arrest to corrupt officials it referred to as “forces of darkness”.

“The forces of darkness might have collected enough evidence to throw Mr Huang into jail,” the report said.

Hu Xingdou , an outspoken scholar from the Beijing Institute of Technology, said the authorities should make public information about Mr Huang’s case.

“Why did the local government harass Huang and ask mainland media not to cover the case?” Professor Hu asked. “The public has the right to know the truth.”

He said it was not clear whether Mr Huang himself was corrupt or not.

“It was also possible that Huang might use the open letter to protect himself or disguise something,” he said, adding: “But some actions of the local governments of Fujian and Fuzhou in Huang’s case were suspicious.”

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