China accused of detaining dissident activist in Laos

Yang Zewei was surreptitiously arrested on June 1 after launching a campaign to remove Chinese censorship.

Rights activists have accused China’s communist leadership of secretly arresting a dissident free-speech activist from Vientiane, the Lao capital, after he launched an internet campaign to eliminate censorship.

Yang Zewei, also known as Qiao Xinxin, was reported missing and supposedly captured on or around May 31, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA) on June 13.

His associates have accused the Chinese regime of arresting him in Laos using its notorious long-arm jurisdiction.

Yang recently established the #BanGFW Movement, which aims to put pressure on China to remove the Great Firewall, which controls all content on Chinese social media sites.

Yang was arrested after returning from a swim in the Mekong River on June 1, according to activist Lin Shengliang, who lives in the Netherlands.

“It’s very likely that the people were hiding [in his apartment] and grabbed him the moment he walked in.” “They probably pushed him to the ground in an instant,” Lin said.

“He would have definitely resisted… but there would have been no time for him to send out any signal for help,” Lin continued.

According to Ling, Yang’s neighbors witnessed eight police officers handcuffing Yang. Six of the cops, they said, were Chinese.

Lin, who spoke with local cops on the phone, stated that they were eager to avoid any involvement in the case.

“He said, ‘It’s not our case,’ and was eager to get out of it.” “However, it was merely passive confirmation that he had been arrested,” Lin explained.

Yang was arrested after he issued a statement on Twitter on April 20 calling on fellow activists to protest Chinese censorship outside Chinese embassies across the world if he did not post to his social media accounts for 48 hours.

Yang claimed in a handwritten document titled “Declaration of Not Suicide” that Chinese police were investigating his social media activities and exerting pressure on his family members in order to bring him home.

“I still love this world and am optimistic about China’s democracy.” Please assist in protesting in front of [Chinese] embassies if there are no more online updates for 48 hours. “Thank you!” said the statement accompanying Yang’s selfie.

“I am now in Laos, but police in my hometown are investigating my online speech and trying to harass my family members in China,” Yang stated.

Yang had been incommunicado for 48 hours following his claimed detention on June 1, according to Wang Qingpeng, a member of the activist group China Citizens’ Action Party, who tweeted on June 2.

Yang, according to the activist group, started the #BanGFW movement online in March, which enraged Chinese officials. In response to Yang’s activities, the police targeted his family members in an attempt to force him to return to China.

“Qiao Xinxin [Yang] didn’t back down, but fought harder and harder,” claimed the online petition’s author, who identified himself as Prince Ye.

“He invited more netizens to hold placards calling for the Great Firewall to be demolished, to contact various governments, and to contact the media,” he continued.

overseas human rights organizations have criticised China’s questionable long-arm jurisdiction, and some nations have even launched investigations into its illegitimate overseas police installations.

overseas human rights organizations have criticised China’s questionable long-arm jurisdiction, and some nations have even launched investigations into its illegitimate overseas police installations.

In October 2022, the Canadian federal police launched investigations into Chinese police posts in a Toronto-area residential residence, a single-story commercial building, and a convenience store.

The decision occurred after the Madrid-based Safeguard Defenders disclosed last September that Beijing controls approximately 54 overseas police stations in several countries.

The findings of the rights group spurred inquiries and orders from governments all over the world to close down secret police stations.

Cross-border law enforcement by Chinese authorities is prevalent in Laos and Thailand, according to Wang Nan, a fellow free-speech activist.

“China is suspected of arresting people in Thailand more than once.” According to my knowledge, the majority of Thailand’s economy and export trade is dependent on China, and the same is true in Laos," Wang told RFA.

Deng Haiyan, a former Guangzhou police officer, revealed that after moving to the United States, he was compelled to terminate all contacts with his Chinese family.

“They harassed all of them - my father, even my wife’s sister and brother-in-law,” Deng told RFA.

“I’ve basically cut off contact with them now,” Deng said, “for fear of being treated as guilty by association.”

“They also do things online to target me, such as posting my personal information, such as my ID card number and that of my wife, on social media, and slandering me, claiming I am part of a pornography ring.” “This is all ongoing,” he added.