Police detained the 81-year-old writer Tie Liu in Beijing because his words were said to have caused trouble.
“When talking about this with my daughter, we weren’t so sure whether to cry or to laugh. I mean, is there a bigger joke than sending an 81-year-old man to jail?” Tie’s wife Ren Henfang said in an interview with Voice of America. “Heaven is watching whatever we are doing. So, who cares. We will just see how this thing turn out.”
At 1 in the morning on Sept. 14, Chinese writer Tie Liu, whose real name is Huang Zerong, was taken away by the state security forces from Beijing, on a charge of creating a disturbance. His computers were all confiscated, according to Sound of Hope Radio Network.
His caretaker and relative Yan Jiawei was also taken away.
Tie apparently had ticked off the Chinese authorities when he published an article entitled “Liu Yunshan Must Be Punished for His Crime in Order to Remove the Shackles and Awaken the People” on Aug. 28.
“He is a person of low moral values, and none of his actions is to be proud of,” Tie wrote about Liu. “Liu was a supporter of a coup by Zhou and Bo.”
The now fallen Politburo member Bo Xilai had planned to oust Xi Jinping soon after he took office, with the involvement of former security czar Zhou Yongkang and others from the faction headed by Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party.
According to Tie, Liu’s parents were officials from Inner Mongolia and they worked for Bo’s father Bo Yibo, who was one of the eight heavyweight leaders in China during Deng Xiaoping’s time.
Liu had risen through the CCP’s ranks by first being groomed by the elder Bo, and then flattered Jiang Zemin by quickly doing the Chinese translation for the adulatory book The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin, by U.S. banker Robert Lawrence Kuhn.
Tie further stated that Liu was the source of all corruption in media and publishing in China, an enemy that stopped reform from making progress in China, and an antagonist to political policies set by current Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, and Wang Qishan.
“People do not share, believe, or value the information that has become entirely corrupted and fraudulent,” Tie wrote in reference to how the Chinese media have become after more than 10 years of control by Liu. “There isn’t a single newspaper that speaks the truth.”
“Only by removal of the Internet censorship would people truly believe that the government is willing to speak the truth. Otherwise, [the government] would not have any credibility,” Tie wrote, while pointing out that censorship was the work of the faction headed by Jiang Zemin, Zhou Yongkang, Li Changchun and Liu Yunshan.
Tie gave his nod of approval to the recent lifting of the ban on previously censored keywords—”Jiang Selling the Country” and “Organ Harvesting”—saying it was a right path to expose the crimes committed by Jiang’s faction.
Public outcry against the detention of Tie Liu was fervent on freeweibo.com.
A netizen with the pen name “Lawyer Wang Liangqi” said “Do [the authorities] really need a senior old man?”
Another netizen with the moniker “Express Long Yu” said “[The authorities] dare to arrest a senior old man?”
A netizen by the name “Lawyer Xu Silong from Kuming” said “Don’t touch the elderly.”
In 1957, Tie was a victim of Mao Zedong’s crackdown on liberals. He was labeled a rightist and thrown into jail for 23 years after publishing a novel entitled A Letter to the Youth Corps.
In recent years, Tie has been a leading writer in speaking up against crimes committed during the Cultural Revolution against former rightists who were persecuted by Mao.