[D]ocumentary filmmaker Hao Wu (...) was arrested in Beijing on 22 February after attending a meeting of members of a protestant church not recognised by the government as part of the preparation of his next documentary.
Hao, who lived for more than 10 years in the United States, is a contributor to Global Voices (...) "Hao's only crime has been to do his job as journalist in an independent manner," Reporters Without Borders said in its letter to [Chinese] President Hu [Jintao]. The organisation also called on US diplomats to raise Hao's case with the Chinese authorities, above all as part of the preparations for Hu's visit to the United States next month.
Hao was detained by the Beijing division of the State Security Bureau, which has officially confirmed his arrest. Two days after his arrest, police raided his home, seizing videotapes and editing equipment. He has not been charges and the authorities have not explained why they are holding him. Global Voices said they authorities could be trying to get him to provide information about China's underground protestant churches.
Using the nom de blog "Beijing Loafer", Hao maintained an online journal at Beijing or Bust, which was also the title of one of his documentary films. To foil China's state-run internet filters, Hao mirrored his blog at MSN Spaces. Under the alias Tian Yi, he also contributed in English to Global Voices. GV co-founder Ethan Zuckerman has launched a support site for Hao. Snip:
Why didn’t we speak out about his detention earlier?
Hao’s family and friends in China have deflected questions about his detention for the past month, as authorities in contact with people close to Hao have urged them not to publicize the case. There had been hope that his detention was only for a short period of time, in which case publicity would not have been helpful.