Chinese poet detained by police for trying to commemorate Lui Xiaobo

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Sep 7: Chinese police have detained a celebrated poet from the southern province of Guangdong for aiding to produce an anthology of poems commemorating Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in Chinese custody.

The poet, Wu Mingliang, who is widely known by his pen name Langzi was taken from his home by police officers and criminally detained on August 18 upon suspicion of “illegal business operations,” Hong Kong Free Press reported citing Amnesty International.

Wu Mingliang“Wu is being detained for taking part in writing, editing and compiling an anthology of poems commemorating the prominent dissident, who died of a liver cancer in a hospital under police surveillance in July,” the rights group further said in its report citing his lawyer and friends.

The poet has reportedly told his lawyer at the Haizhu District Detention Centre in Guangzhou on August 23, that the officers had repeatedly questioned him about an exhibition catalogue of his work which he published without permission from authorities.

In addition, the poet’s friend Peng Heping was also said to have been detained on the same charges in August.

They are both members of Independent Chinese PEN Center and were roughly treated by the Chinese authorities, a Radio Free Asia report cited the center as saying in its statement.

“The right of poet Langzi to exercise his civil rights and freedoms with the publication of the memorial poetry anthology for Liu Xiaobo through the use of fabricated charges is giving rise to a miscarriage of justice. This will cause serious harm to … literary creativity and the constitutional rights of Chinese citizens,” the center’s statement read.

Earlier in July, before Liu Xiaobo’s demise, Wu was reportedly held under detention for ten days for co-signing a letter in Lui’s support and interrogated about the anthology dedicated to the Chinese Nobel Laureate.

The compilation of the anthology, initially planned to be published in September, has been now suspended due to Wu’s detention.