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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora