Crackdown against dissidents continues after Liu Xiaobo Nobel
Police keeps activists and bloggers under house arrest, shuts down unwelcome websites. Liu’s wife Xia appears but only on Twitter. Veteran dissidents Bao Tong and Deng Zilin disappear.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Chinese government crackdown on people connected in some way to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo continues. The initial wave of arrests that came after the award was given to the university scholar and Charter 08 co-author was followed by more repression against all sorts of dissenting voices. One example is the well-known website, which was forced to shut down on 12 October.

Secretary Zhang, founder of the online discussion forum that focuses on current events and news censored elsewhere by the government, has been under "soft detention" since 8 October.

On Twitter, he reported 19 October that he "may be sent back to his hometown." To protect his family's safety, he has declined interview requests and refused to speak more on restrictions he is currently facing.

Also on 19 October, plainclothes police officers arrived at the home of activist Hou Zonglan in Jinan City (Shandong Province). After presenting her with a summons order, they took her in for questioning in relation to her celebrations in honour of Liu Xiaobo.

Information about all this comes from Chinese Human Rights Defender (CHRD), an organisation dedicated to human rights in China.

The group said that Liu’s wife Xia is also among the victims of the crackdown. They report that the authorities have cut her internet connection, holding her under house arrest since her husband won the prize, something illegal since she has not broken any law. Her last contact with the outside world was last Monday when on Twitter she wrote, “It’s me . . . . Don’t worry!”

Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin has been targeted as well. Her whereabouts and that of her husband are unknown since 7 October.

Jiang Qisheng is another dissident who has disappeared. The same has happened to Bao Tong, former personal secretary and friend of Communist Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang who was purged for his opposition to the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Many more activists are under surveillance or house arrest (see “After Nobel to Liu Xiaobo, repression of other dissidents,” in AsiaNews, 12 October 2010).

Police is also monitoring the homes of writer Yu Jie and human rights activist Zhang Hui. Other dissidents on the CHRD list have refused to speak.