Chinese Writer’s Arrest Increases Scrutiny of Rights

Writer Zhou Yuanzhi was arrested last Saturday, and this Monday, Chang Ping (whose real name is Zhang Ping), deputy editor-in-chief of Southern Metropolis Weekly was removed from his post. From The Wall Street Journal:

The arrest of a Chinese writer on subversion charges and the demotion of a prominent newspaper editor come amid increased scrutiny of the government’s human-rights record ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

Writer Zhou Yuanzhi was arrested Saturday by state security police in the central Chinese city of Zhongxiang. On Monday, he was formally detained on charges of attempting to subvert the state, according to the International PEN writers association.

Also on Monday, Zhang Ping, the deputy editor of the influential and often independent-minded Southern Metropolis Daily, based in Guangzhou, was removed from his post, though he is still employed by the paper. Over the past month, Mr. Zhang, 37, had written several opinion pieces and blog posts that challenged the official Chinese news media’s reporting on Tibet and advocated greater press freedom. The writings turned Mr. Zhang into a target for outrage — fanned by the state media — among Chinese who accused him of being a traitor.

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