FAM investigates the case of missing 28-year old anti-Communist China activist Kwon Pyong.
(Hong Kong Free Press) 28-year-old activist Kwon Pyong has been detained in Jilin, China after he shared plans to wear a t-shirt with messages expressing sentiments against Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Friends have been unable to contact Kwon Pyong – who is ethnically Korean and previously studied abroad in the US – for a month. He previously told a friend that he was planning to wear a t-shirt with anti-Xi messages on the street on October 1, China’s National Day.
His friend, named Gu Yi, who is a student studying abroad in the US, said he received a message from Kwon that said “something [bad] happened” on September 30.
— cui tiankai (@cuitiankai) November 3, 2016
Gu has been unable to contact him since. An officer at the Yanji police department confirmed to US-backed Radio Free Asia that Kwon is currently in police custody. Officers at the same police department that answered the phone were unable to confirm Quan’s detention with HKFP.
— jaqi (@Jaqi) November 2, 2016
Gu said that Kwon was previously called in to talk with state security police after he sent postcards to detained human rights lawyers.
“But then he told me on Sept. 30 that he planned to walk around in that T-shirt. I told him not to do it, but he insisted,” Gu told RFA. “We didn’t think he would run into trouble because he had worn that kind of t-shirt before.”
— Rose Tang (唐路） (@rosetangy) November 3, 2016
Kwon actively tweeted about topics including China’s crackdown on lawyers, the Tiananmen massacre, Tibet, Hong Kong independence, human rights, and other sentiments opposing the Chinese government.
— Suyutong (@Suyutong) November 3, 2016
At the end of August, K won posted a picture of himself with the t-shirt on Twitter, saying that “Xitler” was inspired by a tweet from former Tiananmen Square student leader and activist Rose Tang. Below “Xitler” are Chinese phrases saying “Xi Baozi” [steamed buns] and “Big Spender” – both pejorative terms referring to the Chinese leader.
— Skylar Kwan (@kwandrummer) November 3, 2016
“He’s one of a very small number of young Chinese who have been outspoken in criticising the Chinese government on Twitter using their real names. Beijing has been cracking down on Chinese Twitter users for a number of years but his case signals a new wave of crackdowns on young Twitter users in its attempts to diminish the rare and sparse sparks of a pro-democracy and human rights movement which has been stymied since Xi Jinping took office,” Tang said.
— 張樹人 Anthony Chang (@Shujenchang) November 8, 2016
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