Activists Detained at Hu Jia’s Birthday Dinner

Human rights activist Hu Jia and his supporters were briefly detained in Shenzhen on Thursday night while celebrating Hu’s 40th birthday. From South China Morning Post:

Shenzhen police detained prominent activists Hu Jia, Teng Biao and more than a dozen supporters for several hours on Thursday night in Shenzhen, apparently over suspicions they were using Hu’s 40th birthday dinner as a rallying point to fight for the release of legal scholar Xu Zhiyong and other activists recently detained.

Teng told the South China Morning Post shortly after his release around 11.30pm that plain clothes police interrogated him for two and a half hours over the dinner gathering, specifically asking whether participants had discussed Xu, who was detained last week on the criminal charge of “gathering a crowd to disturb order in public places”.

[…] Teng said police did not produce a warrant and did not give a reason for their detentions.

“They have taken away so many people and they are very nervous themselves, so when we got together for dinner, they had to intervene,” Teng said.

[…] Hu said he never thought that celebrating his birthday in a city so far away from Beijing, where he is normally based, would make the authorities nervous. He estimated dozens of police officers were deployed to break up the party. [Source]

News of the detentions spread on Twitter, after Hu Jia’s wife, Zeng Jinyan, who was visiting Chicago for a blogging conference, tweeted that she was very concerned about the safety of her five-year-old daughter, who was with Hu Jia at the time of his detention. Teng Biao responded that she was safe with friends:


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