Beijing-based dissident writer Liu Xiaobo 刘晓波 was forcibly stopped by the Police when he was on the way to attend a Transition Institute 传知行研究所 seminar. Liu was a guest speaker for the Institute’s regular Saturday meeting last weekend. He planned to give a lecture on tragedy in literature.
A Radio Free Asia reporter attempted without success in his effort to verify the story with the Public Security Office in Beijing.
In a subsequent interview with RFA, Liu Xiaobo confirmed that he had been receiving phone calls from the Police since last Tuesday. He was warned not to attend the seminar. When he refused to comply, he was physically restrained and put under house arrest by five police officers. When Liu demanded to see a warrant for his detention, he was told that this was “an order from above”. At no point in the scuffle had the Police officers produced any legal document to justify their action.
Liu Xiaobo has been considered a “person of special interest” to the Beijing Police due to his past involvement in the June Fourth incident. Liu is also a target of regular Police harassment. This kind of harassment will usually get more intense at the onset of a major incident.
According to a Boxun report, the organiser of the seminar Guo Yushan 郭玉闪 was also detained by the Police shortly before the seminar.
I am wondering whether this incident is related to what Zhongnanhai intends to do about the widely publicised article by Hu Qili in the next issue of Yanhuang Chunxiu. John Garnaut wrote about this in his latest report at The Age:
The most senior surviving Chinese leader to be purged over the Tiananmen massacre will today call for the Communist Party to return to “open and democratic decision making” as personified by two other purged leaders, Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang.
Hu Qili’s essay, due to hit news stands today in this month’s Yanhuang Chunqiu, China’s leading intellectual magazine, comes as some senior Communist Party figures are already trying to force out the magazine’s chief editor for reviving the ghost of Mr Zhao in previous editions.
The China Beat has posted a good summary of recent media coverage of the Yanhuang Chunqiu incident. Those of you who have been following the story should bookmark this article.