News / Asia

Chinese Filmmaker Disappears in Beijing

Chinese filmmaker Du Bin speaking to VOA's Mandarin Service via Skype (file photo)
Chinese filmmaker Du Bin speaking to VOA's Mandarin Service via Skype (file photo)
VOA News
Friends and family of Chinese filmmaker and former New York Times photographer Du Bin say he appears to have been taken away by Chinese police after being missing from his Beijing home for more than 10 days.

Du last communicated with his family on May 31. Speaking to VOA by phone, his friend and fellow activist Hu Jia said a police summons dated June 1 was later found in Du's home, demanding that the filmmaker report to authorities on suspicion of disturbing public order.

Du released a documentary in early May, profiling a women's labor camp in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, and showing former inmates describing degrading and humiliating conditions. The Chinese government banned the film.

Later in the month, Du released a book about the Chinese government's deadly 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Hu said he believes Chinese police secretly detained Du in response to the book's publication.

"The book, titled Tiananmen Massacre, was published in bookstores in Hong Kong. This name did not conceal anything, and testified to the true facts against the authorities. It took years [for Du] to compile the documents by going to second-hand book stores to find original People's Liberation Army papers and magazines praising the troops who crushed the June 4th movement,” Hi said.

Chinese troops backed by tanks crushed the student-led demonstration on June 4, 1989, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Beijing considers the protest to be a "counter-revolutionary rebellion" and blocks annual attempts by pro-democracy activists to commemorate the killings.

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders said Chinese police already had stepped up surveillance of Du after the release of the film about the Masanjia labor camp. It said he was editing more interviews with former Masanjia detainees at the time of his apparent detention, which came four days before the 24th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown.

Hu said he went to the police station responsible for the neighborhood where Du lives to inquire about the filmmaker, but was told it had no information.

“The authorities continued to put on an act, saying they did not know anything about this. I saw the document - his summons. Their actions did not follow legal procedures and had no legal basis,” he said.

In a separate phone conversation with VOA, the filmmaker's sister Du Jirong said she does not know where he is.

“The authorities did not notify anyone. We, the immediate family, did not receive written notification regarding my older brother," Du said.

Chinese authorities can place a person under administrative detention for 15 days for "disturbing public order" without alerting family members. Detention on criminal charges requires family notification except in cases related to state security.

Reporters Without Borders called on China to declare its reason for purportedly arresting Du Bin and stop what it called his illegal detention.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs