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Author Released After 29 Days Detention for His Book About Dam Migration

Posted by Author on September 20, 2010

Reporters Without Borders, Sep. 20, 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders hails investigative journalist Xie Chaoping’s release on bail in Weinan (in Shaanxi province) on 17 September for lack of evidence. After being held for 29 days for writing a book about the Sanmenxia Dam entitled “The Great Migration,” he has been able to return to Beijing.

“Xie’s release is excellent news but now he must he now be quickly cleared of the charges of illegal commercial activity that the Weinan authorities brought against him,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We call for the release of the printer who was also accused of illegal commercial activity for printing his book. It is still not known what has happened to him.”
Reporters Without Borders found it very encouraging to see how many Chinese journalists, academics, cartoonists and bloggers rallied to Xie’s defence, forcing the authorities to back down and release him on bail.

As he left prison, Xie said: “I definitely do not regret writing this book. I am prepared to be arrested again.” Xie fears that he could be arrested again because the Weinan Public Security Department is continuing to search for evidence.

Xie’s lawyer, Zhou Ze, said that Xie’s release was above all the result of public pressure. On 14 September, for example, around 60 academics posted a petition online urging the Communist Party Central Committee to order his release. Zhou said the police and prosecutors lack material evidence for a prosecution. He added that he hoped that, once back in Beijing, Xie would be granted a full release.

Xie was questioned every day while held. On some days, the interrogations lasted for as much as seven hours. He also had to perform forced labour duties for five hours a day.

Reporters Without Borders

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