China: citizen journalist faces administrative harassment after release from prisonEvent
- Initial Date
- May 1, 2023
- Event Description
Beijing authorities have refused to accept Wuhan-based citizen journalist Fang Bin for relocation after he was bundled onto a high-speed train for the capital shortly after his release from a three-year jail term on Sunday.
Fang was sentenced to three years' imprisonment at a secret trial on orders from Beijing after filming from hospitals and funeral homes early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Radio Free Asia reported last week.
After his release, he was turned around and sent right back again by Beijing police as the authorities stepped up "stability maintenance" measures aimed at getting rid of other politically sensitive figures who have made their homes in the capital.
The Wuhan authorities had believed they were relocating Fang to live with his son, but his son was himself under huge political pressure from the authorities not to have Fang Bin live with him, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"His son was apparently under pressure, and that made his father unwilling to stay in Beijing, so the son took Fang Bin out to eat, bought him some clothes, then Beijing police bought Fang Bin a high-speed train ticket and sent him back to Wuhan on the train that same evening," said the person, who asked to remain anonymous.
Fang was scheduled to arrive in Wuchang, one of the cities in the Wuhan conurbation, at around 9.00 a.m. on Monday, where he was reportedly met by relatives, according to another person who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
However, repeated attempts to contact him were unsuccessful on Monday.
"The police told Fang Bin that he's not allowed to give any interviews or post videos online," the person said.
"He went to the traditional Chinese clothing store that he used to run in Hankou North this afternoon, but found that everything in it had been taken away," the person said. "I heard that Fang Bin lost a tooth in prison, but I don't know exactly how."
His release comes amid reports that Fang's sister is unwilling to have him living with her, according to someone familiar with the matter who gave only the surname Liu.
"Fang Bin's sister is likely under pressure [from the authorities], and doesn't want Fang Bin living with her," Liu said. "He will stay with his sister [Monday] night, then will find somewhere else to live in Wuhan later."
"But the Wuhan police don't want Fang Bin to stay in Wuhan either," Liu added.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Administrative Harassment
- Restrictions on Movement
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of movement
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Community-based HRD
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 1 May 2023, Fang Bin, citizen journalist who spent 3-year in prison for reporting on COVID-19, was bounced between the police of Beijing and Wuhan as form of administrative harassment and preventing him to settle in Wuhan, China.