Chinese activist held for subversion
( AP ) - An online commentator who said next year's Beijing Olympics would force ordinary Chinese to live "like pigs and dogs" has been detained for nearly a week on a charge of subversion, his wife said Wednesday.
Though Beijing encourages Internet use for business and education, it tightly controls Web content, censoring anything it considers critical of - or a threat to - the Communist Party. Press freedom and human rights groups say China has jailed dozens of people for writings posted online.
Wang Dejia, who uses the pen name Jing Chu, has written numerous online articles about sensitive topics in China - for example, backing Taiwan's bid for U.N. membership and criticizing Beijing for human rights abuses against journalists and dissidents.
Wang was taken from his home in Quanzhou County, part of southern China's Guilin city, early Friday on a charge of "subverting state authority," said his wife Wen Zhenyan. Officers confiscated his computer, memory cards, books and banking documents.
"The public security bureau said he was anti-communist," she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. Family members were told they were not allowed to visit Wang, who had often been under surveillance but never previously detained, his wife said.
In July, he told the Epoch Times, a newspaper linked to the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, that China's central government was ignoring the needs of common Chinese in the lead-up to the Olympics. Instead, he said, the Communist Party was most concerned about cracking down on dissidents and building new venues.
"Let the people live like pigs and dogs, I think that's how it will achieve its goal of a harmonious society," he said in the interview.
Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement that Wang met with U.S. officials in October to discuss human rights issues. Wen said her husband did meet with a consular representative, but she didn't know what they talked about.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said it was aware of Wang's case but could not confirm whether any U.S. officials had met with him.
The public security bureau in Guilin refused to comment on the case when reached by telephone. It did not respond to a faxed request for information.