News / Asia

Chinese Blogger Who Exposed Sex Scandal Faces Police Pressure

Lei Zhengfu was fired after a tape showing him having sex with an 18-year old mistress was circulated online. Lei Zhengfu was fired after a tape showing him having sex with an 18-year old mistress was circulated online.
x
Lei Zhengfu was fired after a tape showing him having sex with an 18-year old mistress was circulated online.
Lei Zhengfu was fired after a tape showing him having sex with an 18-year old mistress was circulated online.
A Beijing blogger once praised by Chinese authorities for exposing a sex scandal involving a Chongqing city official is now facing pressure from them to stop his independent anti-corruption campaign. 
 
Chinese police questioned Zhu Ruifeng for six hours at a Beijing police station on Monday as part of an investigation into the scandal that he revealed on November 20, when he published images of a sex tape featuring Chongqing district party chief Lei Zhengfu.  At the time, Zhu also claimed to have other sex tapes incriminating officials in the central Chinese city. 
 
Police get tough
 
Writing on his blog after Monday's questioning, Zhu said the interrogators wanted him to hand over the videos and reveal the identity of the Chongqing official who provided them to him.  Zhu said he refused to betray his source.  He also wrote that he would rather go to prison than commit such an act. 
 
A lawyer for Zhu who attended the questioning told Western news agencies that the officers threatened to charge the blogger with concealing evidence.  Zhu also said he agreed to appear at the police station only after several officers came to his home late Sunday and demanded that he face questioning.  He said some of the police appeared to be from Chongqing. 
 
Blogger's former praise
 
Zhu's treatment represents a marked contrast from two months ago, when the state-run China Daily newspaper welcomed what it called the "prowess" of Zhu and other activists who use the Internet as a "tool against abusive officials."  Zhu's images of Lei Zhengfu having sex with a teenage mistress went viral on Chinese social media sites and prompted authorities to fire the Chongqing official within days. 
 
Speaking in late November, the blogger said Beijing police had called him to express concern for his well-being and offered to protect him from perceived intimidation by Chongqing authorities. 
 
A major development in the case last week may explain Zhu's new predicament. 
 
Scandal widens
 
In reports Thursday, Chinese state media said authorities had identified and fired 10 more Chongqing officials who appeared in sex tapes related to the Lei Zhengfu affair.  Zhu has not released any images of those tapes himself.  The firings exposed illicit behavior by other local party leaders and managers of state-owned enterprises. 
 
Chinese state media said the 11 Chongqing officials were entrapped by a construction company which hired women to seduce the men and secretly record the encounters several years ago.  The reports said the developer used the tapes for a criminal extortion racket that pressured the officials into granting construction contracts. 
 
Recent revelations of corruption and excess by the party elite in Chongqing and elsewhere have repulsed many Chinese and embarrassed Beijing's new leaders, who have repeatedly vowed to deal with the problem, seeing it as a threat to Communist rule.  The widening of the Chongqing scandal to include 11 officials appears to have pressured authorities into pursuing damage control. 
 
Digital rights advocates say China also is reluctant to let activists such as Zhu pursue anti-corruption campaigns that undermine public confidence in senior officials. 
 
Yibing Feng of VOA's Mandarin Service contributed to this report. 

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid