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Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

New Twists in Hao Wu's Detention

Reporters Without Borders today said it considered Chinese blogger Hao Wu to be the victim of state abduction as more than two months have gone by since his arrest by the National Security Bureau in Beijing without his family getting any news about him. His lawyer has not been allowed to see him, but has been told his client is under house arrest.

"This case shows the Chinese security services operate without any control by the courts," Reporters Without Borders said. "Hao is the victim of an arbitrary system that interprets the law as it sees fit. We call on European and American diplomats to raised his case at their meetings with the Chinese authorities. We are curious know how they will justify the National Security Bureau's procedures."

In a message posted yesterday on her blog (http://spaces.msn.com/wuhaofamily/blog/), Hao's sister, Na Wu, said she had hired a lawyer who asked three questions during an interview with the National Security Bureau on 21 April: why his client is being held longer than allowed by the law, why the authorities refuse to inform his client's family, and why they refuse to let him see his client, which they should have done within the first 48 hours of his arrest.

The National Security Bureau replied that these were just "misunderstandings." Hao was no longer in detention, he was under "house arrest," the bureau said. At the same time, the case was "classified," which explained why no information had been given about the charges against Hao and where he was being held. Finally, neither Hao's family or his lawyer had been allowed to see him because they had not formally requested it, the bureau added.

Na said she has never been directly notified about her brother's arrest. The classified nature of the arrest is completely new and has never previously been mentioned by the bureau. Hao's lawyer also posts comments on his blog. He wrote that Hao should have been placed under "house arrest" no more than 30 days after his arrest. Calling the case "classified" was just a pretext for not disclosing the charges against Hao, he added.

Na finished her latest message with the follow comments: "If you have already visited my blog and are already aware of the efforts we have undertaken since his arrest, you will understand how unconvincing the National Security Bureau's explanations and excuses are." In a phone with Reporters Without Borders, she added: "The police have made it clear to me that they are aware of everything I have said and done."



Reading Nina Wu's journal entries from the last couple of days, it is clear that even ordinary people have a better sense of the rule of law than those who are responsible for law enforcement, and that by design, the Chinese legal system has placed certain group(s) (i.e. national security force) above the law.

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