Law and Order China Style.
I received news from Eowyn earlier today that BaghdadBrian has been freed and is en route to Los Angeles. 7 other US citizens were also released. Unfortunately 2 other international detainees who I believe were being held with Brian are still being held and their fate is unknown.
Apparently the amount of international pressure demanding their early release was quite significant and may have been a factor in these events unfolding as fast as they have. I’ve been told that the story of Brian/the Beijing 6 had spread through the internets and to several high profile major media outlets.
Whatever the cause, I’m relieved that my friend and colleague is safe and out of such a dangerous place for journalists. Though still and always concerned for those who remain incarcerated regardless of their nationality, held for exercising basic universal human rights which the Chinese government claims to respect.
Fellow independent video blogger and friend Baghdad Brian, along with 5 other individuals, was arrested Thursday in Beijing. They are accused of being part of an overseas pro-tibet activist group. Brian was there to report about the demonstrations during the olympics as an independent journalist.
Chinese authorities say they must serve a 10 day jail sentence, according to the American embassy the conditions they are living in are better than average (perhaps because they’re foreigners). Since the start of the olympic games at least 400 people have disappeared as part of the continued repression of pro tibet and other human rights demonstrations. These disappeared include many journalists who are their without the supervision of Chinese government handlers.
The following podcast features an interview with Brian’s wife, Eowyn, who explains what she knows about Brian’s situation, the group, and people who have risked their freedom and well-being in protest of the Chinese government and their disregard for basic human rights. More information can be found here. Please listen to the program and do pass on the link, otherwise all we have is the image of the mainstream press… the picture perfect images of the olympic games and China on television.
Phil Ochs – I’m Going to Say it Now
Utah Phillips – Ain’t it Grand
During my recent visit to Berlin, BaghdadBrian and I visited the stasimuseum and recording this videoblog entry. It also features the most excellent tour guide who not only gave tremendous insight into what life was like in the GDR and the activities of the Stasi, but also gave these great personal stories of how she felt and what she remembers. Oh and here’s the museum website.