Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply worried for the welfare of journalist
Wen Tao, artist Ai Weiwei and other people missing in China since April 3.
Wen, 38, who was dismissed from the online portal Global
Times English, which is associated with the government-run People’s Daily,
was reported missing on April 3.
On the same day, his colleague Ai Weiwei was detained by
immigration officers at Beijing international
airport as he was about to depart for Hong Kong.
Before he disappeared, Wen reported that the
editor-in-chief of Global Times had requested he no longer work for the outlet.
This followed publication on the Global Times website of
articles he wrote about a workshop conducted by Ai, and Ai’s request to
authorities for transparency and information about the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Wen, who commonly
reported on social welfare issues, also made observations about the workshop on
“The IFJ urges authorities in China to fully investigate the
disappearance of Wen Tao and provide all information on his whereabouts and
welfare,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“We hold grave concerns that he is being illegally
detained by authorities, and call for the immediate release of Wen and Ai
After his disappearance, Ai’s family placed an online
“notice” seeking information on his whereabouts. On April 7, a spokesman for China’s
Foreign Ministry said at a press conference that police had detained Ai, for
alleged bigamy and tax evasion.
Around the same time, Global Times published a series of
articles questioning Ai’s relationship with western countries.
Ai’s wife has reported that the Beijing tax department requested she provide
further information about her husband.
Ai’s cousin and personal driver is also reported to have
disappeared since Ai’s detention, according to reports in Hong
Information about Ai’s detention is now censored in China with the
exception of the recent reports in Global Times. Ai’s online articles are also
heavily blocked in Google’s search engine.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
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