Deutsche Welle on Yu Jie: a Sudden Flight

The following are excerpts from a Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) online article in German, published on Thursday, about Yu Jie’s and his family’s arrival in America.

[…] One event in particular, during spring last year, had led to Yu’s decision to leave China, says Martin-Liao*): back then, Yu Jie had been abducted by the Chinese security agencies. The officials had pulled a bag over his head, and abducted him to an unknown place. There, Yu had been brutally beaten. The thugs had undressed and photographed him, says Tianchi Martin Liao. They had threatened that if he continued to write articles, he would vanish from this earth. […]

The critical author has long been anathema to the Chinese authorities. He regularly writes articles critical of the government, for internet blogs, and Hong Kong media. The 38-year-old is a close friend of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, and one of the signatories of “Charter 08”, a manifesto for freedom of opinion and democracy in China.

Yu is also active in a Christian underground church. This even led to an encounter with former U.S. president George W. Bush. But above all, Yu became known for his book “China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao”. He criticized China’s prime minister forthrightly, thus breaking a taboo in China. The book, published in Hong Kong, is banned in the People’s Republic.

Deutsche Welle’s Chinese department produced Yu’s best-known work as an audio book and offers a free download. In an interview with about his criticism of Wen, Yu Jie said in summer 2010 that “I as a critic, as well as Wen Jiabao, or the Chinese government who are criticized are in a learning process. For me, this means that I have to learn to advance my criticism still more rationally and objectively, and for the government, it means learning how to handle criticism.”




*) Liao Qianqi or Liao Tian Chi (廖天琪), chairwoman of the Chinese Independent Pen Center


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