German Journalist Detained in China

July 7, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: September 15, 2015 7:51 pm

BERLIN–Bluhm, a correspondent stationed in Beijing, working for the German newspaper Die Zeit , was arrested on June 6, when gathering information on the issue of immigration caused by the Nujiang River dam construction area in Yunnan Province. After five hours of detainment, Bluhm was released after he promised not to continue his report. This is Bluhm’s second arrest since last year, when he reported on the “cancer village” in Henan Province, where severely polluted water devastates the health of local villagers.

According to a major German media reporting from Beijing, local police arrested Bluhm in Xiaoshaba Village of Lushui County in Yunan Province after he interviewed peasants about the immigrants from the Nujiang River dam construction area. The police demanded that Bluhm hand over his notes and photos. After Bluhm destroyed a portion of his documents and signed an agreement, he was released.

After Bluhm was released, he explained that he did not hand over any documents to the police because of concern for the safety of those he interviewed. Last month, Fu Xiancai, a human rights defendant for immigrants from the Three Gorges Dam area, became paralyzed after heavy beating for accepting an interview from a German TV station. The German media stationed in China worry similar incidents will occur.

Bluhm is one of the most experienced German journalists stationed in China. He was arrested previously for his coverage on the strike of workers in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province and Henan Province’s “cancer village.” Bluhm is currently serving as correspondent for both the Die Zeit and the Die Tageszeitung (Taz) newspapers.