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)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid