What you need to know
Human rights activists call for answers as bloggers who exposed protests in China go missing.
Two Chinese bloggers who published data on protests in China and have been missing for nearly two weeks have reportedly been detained by authorities.
Lu Yuyu and his girlfriend, Li Tingyu, are reported to have been detained on charges of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a non-government organization, said today that Lu and Li had been transferred to an “unknown” detention center.
On June 24, Amnesty International said the pair have been missing since June 15 and may be criminally detained.
“They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment,” Amnesty said.
The organization has started a public campaign to demand answers on the detainment.
A citizen journalist, Lu's website is called Not in the News (非新聞). He also publishes on several platforms.
According to a 2014 profile in Tea Leaf Nation, Lu has been using Chinese social media platforms to document protests around China since 2012 – he was 34 at the time.
“After finding an initial post about a protest, Lu tries to verify the information by tracking down other posts about the same incident,” the article says. “After gathering and organizing the information, he publishes the results on his own online accounts.”
Lu was reportedly detained and forced to leave Shanghai in 2012 after protesting in the city.
The charge Lu and Li now face – commonly used by Chinese authorities in freedom of speech cases – has been criticized internationally for its opaqueness.
First Editor: J. Michael Cole
Second Editor: Olivia Yang