Since September 28 at least 34 people have been detained and 60 people have been questioned by the police in mainland China for sharing images and news of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central or showing support for it. As the “Umbrella Revolution” unfolded in Hong Kong, the Communist government and its media apparatus have been trying to insulate the mainland from the outside world, leading to a sharp increase of censorship activities.
According to Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch (民生观察), the Hunanese activist Ou Biaofeng (欧彪峰) was arrested on October 1. A squad of Zhuzhou Internal Security Bureau broke open the door of his house while he was still in bed. They questioned him about some pictures he had posted online in which he was seen as shaving his head in support of Occupy Central (the initiators of Occupy Central had shaven their heads at the beginning of September to show their “determination to fight for true democracy”).
“Because I shaved my whole head clean and put on a black shirt to express support for the struggle of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central for genuinely democratic elections,” Ou wrote on his Twitter profile on October 1, “at 8 am I was taken into custody by two security officials. Then they drove me more than 20 kilometers away to a rural area outside Zhuzhou. I watched them fishing at a pond. After 4 pm we went back to town, they took me to my house and left.”
因為剪光頭和穿黑衫在網絡聲援香港民眾佔領中環爭真普選，早上八點多被兩個國保從家裡帶走，然後又去接上另一國保，開車二十多公里到達株洲郊外一個農家樂，看他們在水塘邊釣魚。下午四點多返回市區，三個國保把我送到樓下後離開，感謝大家關心⋯⋯— 欧彪峰 (@oubiaofeng) October 1, 2014
Wang Long, a 26-year-old activist, was arrested in Shenzhen at the end of September for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (which means: for sharing pictures of Occupy Central online).
At around noon of October 4, Zhang Shengyu (張聖雨), an activist from Guangzhou, was walking on the street with two friends, when a car approached them and officers in civilian clothing forced him to get in. The previous day Zhang had held placards in support of Occupy Central at a park in Guangzhou. He was one of at least 4 people who were “kidnapped” in the city by the police for showing solidarity to Hong Kong’s democracy movement.
Shen Yanqiu (沈艷秋) was detained on September 30. She had just come back to Shanghai from Guangzhou. A group of policemen went to the shop she runs and took her into custody. She was detained for an hour and severely warned not to travel to Hong Kong. “They kept asking me why I had shaved my head,” she said in a telephone interview, “I said it was within my civil rights to do so. After I left [the police bureau] I shouted that I support Hong Kong democracy movement,” she said. “Shaving our heads means that we, too, support righteousness, freedom and love.“
The list of people detained by the police in mainland China includes: Huang Minpeng (黄敏鹏), Luo Xiaoxiang (刘小翔), Liu Hui (刘辉), Xie Dan (谢丹), Luo Yaling (罗亚玲), Song Ningsheng (宋宁生), Gong Xinsheng (龚新华), Chen Maosen (陈茂森), Chen Jianfang (陈建芳).