Wei is the editor of ILabour.net, a Chinese website that monitors labour rights was with his parents when he was detained by police for ‘disturbing public order’. Wei’s wife Zheng Churan told AFP that police said to his parents when he was arrested that their son was ‘brainwashed’ into helping workers and that they were taking him away to ‘educate’ him. Police also searched Wei’s parents’ house, where he was staying and confiscated his laptop and cell phone.
Wei’s colleague, Ke Chengbing, is also feared to be in police custody as he hasn’t been seen or heard from since March 20.
Zheng, Wei’s wife told AFP that she was worried that the police will use abusive methods to force him to admit that he did something wrong.
The IFJ said: “The detention of Wei Zhili is a raises concerns for the IFJ about the safety of journalists and media workers in China, as well as freedom of expression and the press. The government-led crackdown on freedom of expression is well documented by the IFJ, and needs to end to ensure journalist safety, better working conditions and the promotion of press freedom.”