Chinese Regime Detains Independent Film Maker

By Ji Lisi, Radio Free Asia
April 2, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: April 2, 2006 12:00 am

Wu Hao graduated from the Biology Department of the University of Science and Technology of China. He came to U.S. in 1992 to study and went back to China in 2004. He then started producing and directing films. One of his documentary films, Beijing or Bust , tells how six Chinese Americans live in Beijing.

On the afternoon of February 22, Wu Hao was taken into custody by officials from the Beijing Public Security Bureau when he was meeting with underground Church members to plan for his next documentary film. During the day, Wu Hao called his family and the tone of his voice suggested he was concerned of being monitored. On February 24, Wu Hao's video equipment and several videocassettes were taken away from his home. After Wu Hao was detained, the local authorities summoned one of his friends twice.

A reporter from our Cantonese team called Beijing Public Security Bureau, and was asked to leave a telephone number for later contact. But, there has been no reply when this report was made.

The spokesperson of Global Voices Online said Beijing Public Security Bureau admitted it had custody of Wu Hao but refused to give any reason for his detainment or for how long he will be detained. The spokesman also said that for safety considerations, Wu Hao's family will not accept any media interviews at this time.

Wu Hao's family believes the authorities want to crackdown on underground churches through him and his films. His family worries about Wu Hao's safety because he may not cooperate with the authorities. Wu's family called for international help and urged the Chinese communist regime to release Wu Hao soon.

According to Wu's family, he once had a phone conversation with lawyer Gao Zhisheng, the famous human rights defender. Wu suggested a meeting on February 22 but Gao thought that was not an appropriate time.

A reporter called Gao Zhisheng several times for verification but failed to get in touch with him. When Wu Hao studied in the U.S., he obtained a Master's degree in molecular biology from Brandeis University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He used to conduct technical research. He was also a salesman and a manager at an Internet company. In 2004, he started to direct and produce films. His many articles appeared online and touched the sensitive topics criticizing the Chinese communist regime. In February 2006, Wu Hao became the editor of the Northeast Asian region for Global Voices Online.