The founder of a rights watch website in China has been missing for over a week, according to volunteers at the website.

Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch first reported that Liu had been taken by police at around 11am last Thursday. He sent them a text message saying: “I’ve been violently taken away! Suizhou Internal Security.”

liu feiyue
Liu Feiyue. Photo: RFA.

He was taken on the second day of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, a volunteer told RFA.

On Thursday, the site posted that Liu had been criminally detained by police for inciting subversion of state power. A member of his family told a volunteer at the site that they went to the police station to ask about him last Friday.

“The police said that this time, it was very serious. Liu Feiyue is being criminally detained, [his case] is at the investigation stage, and he may be sentenced – the reason is inciting subversion of state power.”

But as of Thursday night, his family still had not received any formal notification of his criminal detention, the volunteer reported.

Liu is often detained by police during key events. He was last detained in October, during the Sixth Plenum meeting of Communist Party elite.

His detention comes amid a crackdown on citizen journalism in China. Recently, the Chinese government has been tightening its control over news sourced from social media, as well as prosecuting citizen journalists such as Lu Yuyu and Li Tingting, who ran a protest-tracking blog. Citizen journalists at another rights watch website 64 Tianwang also face continuing suppression from the authorities.

HKFP’s phone calls to the Suizhou Public Security Bureau went unanswered.

2017 funding drive

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.