The sister of blogger and documentary filmmaker Hao Wu reports that he has been released
by authorities in China after nearly five months in jail. Snip from report
by journalists advocacy group Reporters Without Borders
"At the same time, 50 other people are currently in prison in China for writing about 'subversive' subjects online," Reporters Without Borders continued. "China is by far the world's biggest prison for bloggers and cyber-dissidents. We would also like to pay tribute to the courage of this blogger's sister, who battled relentlessly for his release."
Hao was arrested on 22 February while preparing a report about an underground Protestant church. He was held in isolation for 140 days, during which he was never allowed to receive the help of a lawyer. The Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) never revealed the reasons for his arrest. He was said to be "under house arrest" but he was never allowed to receive a visit from his relatives or to telephone them. The PSB said this was necessary because there had been a "breach of national security."
Hao maintained an online journal called Beijing or Bust
, under the nom-de-blog "Beijing Loafer." His sister, Na (aka Nina) Wu, reported on her fight to free her brother at wuhaofamily.spaces.msn.com
throughout his imprisonment. Ethan Zuckerman and Rebecca McKinnon of Global Voices
translated Na's posts and petitioned in English for his release here
. Today, Rebecca writes
It’s impossible to know right now what will happen next, what caused his release at this time, or whether the story is completely over. Doubtless Nina’s hard work and suffering have paid off.
There is also no doubt that all the expressions of support around the world - from media, politicians, bloggers, and other citizens writing letters and signing petitions - have had an impact. We have made it clear to the Chinese government that their treatment of Hao was a cause for national shame. We have given Hao’s family and loved ones moral support in the face of a lot of nastiness and negativity as they worked to get him released. But most importantly, the global show of support will no doubt be a great source of strength as Hao recovers from his ordeal and copes with its aftermath.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]