China, censorship, filmmakers, churches

The Associated Press reports:

Authorities say they are holding a Chinese filmmaker because he committed a crime, but they refuse to give any details or allow visitors, his sister said Thursday.

Wu Hao, a Beijing-based documentary filmmaker, has been in police custody in the capital since Feb. 22.

His sister, Wu Na, has demanded his release and an explanation for his detention, but police have said his case is “secret.”

She said she went to Beijing’s Public Security Bureau on Wednesday and was told he had “committed a crime” but officers refused to say anything more. . . .

Wu Hao lived in Boston, New York and California for 12 years before returning to China in 2004 to make documentaries. He had been working on a film about unregistered Christian churches in China before he went missing. . . .

Coincidence? Maybe not. Apparently the authorities also removed editing equipment and several videotapes from Wu’s apartment two days after he disappeared, and Wu had met twice with Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer in Beijing who also happens to be a Christian. That may be circumstantial evidence, but still.

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