Beijing police put pressure on high-profile dissident over social media post

The state security police in Beijing have paid a visit to outspoken veteran activist Ji Feng after he made a skeptical comment on social media about police claims that high-schooler Hu Xinyu died by suicide, according to a media report.

“I was approached by state security police because I commented on the Jiangxi provincial [police] press conference. I had written ‘you can’t lie to the Chinese people’,” Ji said, Radio Free Asia reported

The death of 15-year-old Hu Xinyu, whose body was found hanging after going missing for three months, has prompted widespread speculation over human trafficking and illegal organ harvesting gangs, leading the authorities to announce a crackdown on online ‘rumor mongering’ in relation to the investigation, RFA reported.

Ji said the police had told him to delete the post.

“They asked me repeatedly if I had now deleted it. I told them I had deleted it, but they still shouldn’t lie to the Chinese people,” Ji said.

“If I hadn’t deleted it, they could have arrested me. It’s that simple,” he added.

Ji said he didn’t believe the police had coordinated their approaches, and that he was likely somewhat protected by his connections with prominent political journalist Gao Yu and other Beijing-based intellectuals, RFA reported.

He added that he was astonished to see that one of the four officers who visited him in his apartment had previously been assigned to monitor late former Communist Party aide and dissident Bao Tong, who died in November.

“I laughed to myself that they put the guy who had been in charge of Bao Tong in charge of me now,” Ji said, adding that he wondered if he had gotten an upgrade.

He said the high-profile nature of the Hu Xinyu case was likely behind the move.

“The whole thing that sparked this was that they are afraid the shady organ transplantation business will be uncovered. I had been discussing this privately among our circle of friends [on WeChat],” Ji said.

“[The police] said private discussions are one thing, but they shouldn’t be posted on the internet,” he added.




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