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

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid