During a live television interview with Voice of America’s (VOA) mandarin program, Sun Wenguang was forcibly arrested by Chinese security forces who broke into his apartment. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have deplored the arrest and enforced disappearance of Sun Wenguang and demanded his immediate release.
Sun Wenguang, 84, a retired physics and economics professor was doing a live interview with VOA detailing concerns regarding China’s investment in Africa, when his apartment was stormed by security forces and he was forcibly detained. His last words before the line cut off were “I am entitled to freedom of speech”. According to The Guardian, during the interview posted by Voice of America, Sun breaks away from the discussion to say: “Here they come again, the police are here to interrupt again,” adding that between six and eight people had entered his home.
Following his arrest, Sun was taken to military-run hotel in Jinan. However on Sunday August 5, hotel personnel told Voice of America that he had been moved to an undisclosed location two days earlier. Chinese authorities have disclosed no information about why the professor was detained. VOA tried to reach the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China for comment, but the mobile phone open to the public was turned off, and the landline was not answered.
The IFJ said: “We reiterate our demands on the Government of China to end the use of enforced disappearances to silence critical voices. The fact that Sun Wenguang was detained during the live interview highlights the extent to which the Chinese Government will go simply to stop critical voices and freedom of speech.”