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Chinese police arrest quake critic on secrets charges!
Huang Qi, 45, a Chinese Political activist who runs Tianwang Human Rights Center was arrested for “possession of state secrets” in quake-hit Sichuan province on June 10. Yesterday, police informed his mother of his formal arrest on secrets charges.
Although little information is known about his arrest, it is believed that his offer help to parents of children killed in the Massive May 12 earthquake may have led to his detention.
“The police didn’t say why, but we think it was because of when he went to help in the quake area with food and money and met many parents who’d lost children,” said his wife, Zeng Li.
Activist Huang Qi is among dozens of writers and lawyers detained during a pre-Olympics crackdown on dissent. Among off-limits topics: complaints from grieving parents that schools that collapsed in the May quake, killing thousands of children, were poorly built, above. (Undated Family Photo). Caption: Washigton Post.
Huang’s concerns about shoddy building and non-existent safety checks, as well as his contacts with foreign journalists may have angered the officials, she said.
Military and police personnel guard the entrance to the Juyuan Middle School where about 280 children died in last month’s earthquake, in Juyuan town near Dujiangyan city in Sichuan province June 12, 2008. Grieving and angry parents on Thursday marked one month since China’s devastating earthquake toppled schools, demanding an explanation and apologising to their loved ones buried under the rubble. Parents of children who died at the Juyuan Middle School said that their planned memorial service at the site was being blocked by police who went from door to door warning them to stay away. The sign reads: “Restricted area. No entry.” REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA). Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!
Huang has been denied a lawyer and visitations rights, said Zeng.
“Huang has been arrested solely for peaceful expression of opinion,” said the Chinese Human Rights Defenders group.
Chinese authorities have attempted to silence protests and collective mourning by the bereaved parents who tragically lost their loved ones when shoddy school buildings collapsed like cardboard boxes in the Sichuan quake.
(L-R) Chen Hupei, Zhang Xiaojun and Qiu Yiping cry as they hold pictures of their children at a road intersection, 14 km (9 miles) away from the earthquake-hit area of Hanwang, Sichuan province, May 23, 2008. Students died when the quake struck on May 12, 2008, causing the buildings in Wufu Primary to collapse on students who were attending school. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (CHINA). Image may be subject to copyright. See RTSF Fair Use Notice!
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