Another Chinese journalist arrested

Beijing, May 15 (IANS/EFE): With the arrest of Wu Wei, a former reporter for South China Morning Post, the Chinese government has added one more number to its arrest drive aimed at curbing opposition ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre June 4.

Wu's disappearance raised alarm among her friends, including activist Hu Jia and lawyer Teng Biao, who Thursday confirmed the arrest to Efe.

According to her friends, the action may stem from her support for the release of human rights advocate Pu Zhiqiang, who was also arrested some days back.

"Wu and Pu are great friends, her association could have come to light during the search raid at Pu's house," Hu said.

Pu was arrested early May after he attended a symposium held in the memory of hundreds of protesters who were killed at Tiananmen square in 1989.

Police have arrested four other persons who had attended the closely held symposium on charges of causing "civil disturbance".

Authorities have also arrested Pu's lawyer and niece Qu Zhengong and another Chinese citizen who works for a Japanese press, Teng Biao told Efe.

The arrest campaign also includes the detention of the famous journalist Gao Yu, who is accused of "leaking state secrets" for allegedly sharing confidential documents with foreign publication.

The document released is believed to be a circular issued by the Communist government urging authorities to take harsh measures against the dissent in the country.

Authorities are yet to confirm Wu's arrest, though the situation looks similar to that of Gao, who went missing a week before her arrest was confirmed.

Reporters Without Borders has demanded an explanation and Wu's immediate release from the Beijing government.

As the June 4 anniversary approaches, the arrests of critics of the communist government are on the rise in Beijing and elsewhere in China.

In another series of arrests, five activists were arrested in the southern city of Canton.

The activists were attending the hearing of their colleague, Li Weiguo, as he stood trial for seeking legal permission to hold a Tiananmen-related demonstration.

The recent arrests demonstrate the Chinese regime's nervousness ahead of the Tiananmen Square massacre's anniversary.


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