A Terrifying Glimpse Into Life As A Chinese Whistle Blower

China Sunset Guards Police Orange Cadets Chinese

Photo: Feng Li/Getty Images

Over the past year the Chinese city of Chongqing has been hit by two enormous scandals — the city’s party boss Bo Xilai was ousted from power, and then a few months ago an incredibly graphic sex tape of another party official was then released online, eventually leading to more than 10 officials resigning over a related corruption scam.Part of the reasons both these scandals got so big is because of Chinese-language bloggers spreading these stories — stories that newspapers would never be allowed to touch — online.

In the case of the Bo scandal, it was boxun.com who spread many of the rumours. In the newer scandal, it was the Beijing-based blogger Zhu Ruifeng and his website jdwsy.com.

Exposing scandals like this has it’s risks, of course. Zhu, who says he has more damaging sex tapes that could be released, has been harassed by the police. From an article in the Washington Post over the weekend:

“They are standing outside my door right now, knocking and even kicking the door, telling me to open it,” he said in a frantic phone call to a reporter.

As he talked, men could be heard shouting in the background. “I think they’re coming to take me away,” Zhu said. “I talked to too many in the media, and it must have irritated someone.”

The stand off lasted two hours, the Post reports, and Zhu agreed to go to the police station the next day. According to a later report in the state-run Global Times, Zhu spent 7 hours negotiating with Chinese police on Monday, refusing to give over any more videos for fear of compromising his source.

Zhu told the Global Times that the officers had threatened to charge him for withholding evidence.

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