Activist Held After Seeking Protest Permit

Mure Dickie reports in the Financial Times:

A housing activist who applied for permission to hold a demonstration in Beijing’s specially designated Olympic protest zones has been detained by police.

The detention of Zhang Wei, whose home was demolished two years ago to make way for an upmarket development in Beijing’s Qianmen district, highlights the Chinese government’s crackdown on dissent ahead of the opening of the games on Friday.

Police detained Ms Zhang on Wednesday for allegedly “disturbing social order”, a member of her family said on Thursday. She was told Ms Zhang would be transferred to a detention centre in south Beijing, family members said.

She was detained just days after Ms Zhang and fellow Qianmen residents applied for police permission to hold a demonstration in one of three designated protest zones to be set up in Beijing parks during the Olympics. Police rejected the application.

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