Editor’s wife disappears after sending alarming text

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has raised concerns about the welfare and whereabouts of a journalists’ spouse, who is missing in Guangzhou, China. The IFJ calls on the authorities to release details of her whereabouts.

Chen Xiaoping, the chief editor of New York-based Mirror Media Group, revealed that his wife, Li Huaiping, was taken away by unidentified people on September 19, 2017. Chen was only alerted to his wife’s disappearance when she messaged him ‘in trouble’ just before she disappeared. Chen told the IFJ that his wife was summoned to meet five people, three of who were colleagues of hers at the Baiyun International Airport, where she worked. During the meeting, her colleagues questioned her marriage to Chen, but did not mention his interview series of Chinese dissident, Guo Wengui.

Following her message, Chen called his wife’s office, and said her colleagues seemed nervous, and wouldn’t tell him whether she had come to work.

Chen did not immediately disclose his wife’s disappearance, in the hope that she would be released. However, he has since received a video of his wife, during which she appears to read a script, stating she would cut off contact with Chen and criticised his activities in the US.

Following a series of interviews by Chen with Guo Wengui, Chen was subjected to a number of smearing attacks. He told the IFJ that “The most serious attack happened in August and September last year.” He said he received harassing text messages and mail.

Chen believes his wife’s disappearance is related to his work. 

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “Media worker’s families and colleagues are often targeted by authorities in an attempt to coerce them to stop their work. Yet, the disappearance of Li Huaiping raises concerns about the lengths to which the authorities will go to, in an attempt to silence critical voices.”

The IFJ calls on Ma Xingrui, Governor of Guangdong Province and Li Xi, Communist Party secretary of Guangdong, to investigate the case promptly and report to the public.  

We also calling the State Department of US to follow up the case and demand the Chinese Government to respect the practice of foreign affairs that the detained people is actually a US citizen. 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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