Thu, Dec 23, 2004 - Page 5 News List

Detained Chinese journalist is released

REFORMER DETAINED Chinese authorities cracked down on social critic and editor-in-chief of a magazine, Chen Min, but he declined to talk about his detention

AFP , BEIJING

The editor of a pro-reform magazine who was taken away by Chinese authorities for interrogation said yesterday he had been released.

Chen Min (陳敏), administrative editor-in-chief of the monthly China Reform, was detained on Tuesday afternoon by several people who barged into his office in what appeared to be part of a continuing crackdown on the media in China.

"I am back in the office," Chen, 43, told reporters, but refused to elaborate on why he had been interrogated or where he had been taken.

"He got back last night at about 9:30pm," said a colleague. "When he got back he appeared very tired.

"He refused to talk about what had happened," the colleague added.

Using the pen name Xiao Shu (笑蜀), or Smiling Sichuanese, Chen, a native of southwest China's Sichuan province, has written numerous commentaries voicing liberal views which could still be seen on Chinese Web sites on Tuesday.

In one such commentary, Chen criticized the government for a lack of concern for human lives after a natural gas explosion last December which killed 243 people in southwest Chongqing municipality.

The magazine is published by the China Economic System Reform Research Association under the supervision of the State Council's State Development and Reform Commission.

Earlier this month the president and editor-in-chief of one of the leading state-run newspapers, the China Youth Daily, was replaced after a series of hard-hitting articles on corruption and government scandals.

Political analysts said there appeared to be an ongoing crackdown against outspoken publications and journalists.

They attributed it to President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) trying to exert control over the country for fear of insecurity after he took over from predecessor Jiang Zemin (胡錦濤) as head of the military in September.

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