Hao Wu, a Chinese filmmaker detained by the government for unknown reasons for the last five months, was released from prison on July 11.
At the time of his arrest, Mr Wu was making a documentary about China’s underground Catholic churches – those that answer to the Vatican, not to the official Chinese authorities – and so it is widely assumed that this was the reason for his being held. He was never charged, but his lawyer was told by the government that his detention was related to “state secrets”, without elaborating.
Mr Wu, who holds an American green card, is also a blogger. His blog, Beijing or Bust, is sadly located on Google blogs, which are uniformly blocked in China. But I highly recommend accessing it through your favorite proxy to read wonderful posts like “Do I have to take a stand?” in which Wu lays out in bulletpoint fashion the pros and cons of China tranforming into some kind of democracy, which ends rather prophetically:
“I would forget about the bullet points, forget about analysis, forget about my desire to go with the “average” Chinese (because I don’t know the “average” Chinese and my decision has zero influence over the “average” Chinese’s), and stake my stand based only on me, on what I, as an individual, would want in a democratic society, because that’s the only decision making process capable of making any honest sense to me – I don’t want to live in a society that doesn’t allow me to express myself freely! But wait, would that land me in prison?”
Now that he’s free again, I sincerely hope Hao Wu will return to his blog.