Veteran Journalist Xiao Shu Detained in Beijing

The South China Morning Post reports that writer and veteran journalist Chen Min (pen name Xiao Shu) was detained on Friday amid a campaign for the release of detained lawyer and fellow New Citizens’ Movement activist Xu Zhiyong:

Veteran Chinese journalist Xiao Shu was taken away by state security officials earlier on Friday in Beijing’s university district, in what seems to be an effort to stop his campaign for the release of leading citizen movement activist Xu Zhiyong.

[…]Xiao Shu, 51, is a well-known commentator on political affairs in China. He is a former columnist with Southern Weekend, and now writes for Yanhuang Chunqiu, a magazine known for pushing the boundaries in its calls for political reform.

Xiao, whose real name is Chen Min, started a signature campaign along with Wang and octogenarian economist Mao Yushi on Wednesday calling for the release of Xu Zhiyong [1], a law lecturer at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications who was detained earlier last month.

Xu, along with Xiao Shu, are among the most prominent exponents of the national New Citizen Movement, which has demanded more government transparency and the respect of rights guaranteed in the Chinese constitution. [Source]

Recently, others were briefly detained at a birthday gathering for Hu Jia at which Xu Zhiyong’s release was being discussed. At the China Media Project, David Bandurski has posted on Xiao Shu’s involvement in the New Citizens’ movement, and on the lead-up to his detention:

Xiao Shu has been one of the most active proponents in recent months of broader citizen participation in social activism and change over a range of issues, what has been broadly called the New Citizen’s Movement.

Following the detention last month of social justice advocate Xu Zhiyong (许志永), Xiao Shu pushed actively for Xu’s release, demanding that those responsible be held accountable. Xiao Shu was also the author earlier this year of anopen letter calling on China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

[…]An investigative reporter for a prominent news magazine in China told CMP today that Xiao Shu has been under close scrutiny for months. Earlier this summer, the reporter was staying in the same hotel as Xiao Shu in Beijing’s Haidian District. At around 1 a.m. state security appeared outside Xiao Shu’s hotel room and asked that he join them downstairs. The investigative reporter accompanied Xiao Shu at first, but was immediately told to leave. Xiao Shu’s talk with state security went on for at least an hour, the reporter said. Xiao Shu later said they had insisted he leave Beijing. He refused, saying he had a right to remain in the city. [Source]

Stay tuned to China Media Project as they work on a translation of Xiao Shu’s most recent writing. Xiao Shu was formerly a columnist for the outspoken Southern Weekly (also known as the Southern Weekend) newspaper that sparked widespread protests over censorship early this year, and was on the editorial board of Yanhuang Chunqiu, the liberal magazine that saw their website shut down after publishing a pro-reform New Year greeting in January. Also see prior CDT coverage of Chen Min (aka Xiao Shu), Xu Zhiyong, the New Citizens’ Movement, and China’s developing civil society


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