Recently we reported on the arrest of dissident intellectual Liu Xiaobo and police interviews with dozens of other signatories of Charter 08, the pro-democracy manifesto released during a period of sensitive anniversaries last month. The number of mainland scholars, artists and writers who have been questioned by authorities about the document has since grown. The ngo Chinese Human Rights Defenders says that at least 101 signers have been interviewed by police in the past month. The police want to learn who wrote the 4,000-word document and how it was disseminated. “Interrogations often end with the authorities demanding an individual publicly renounce his or her support for the charter,” says a recent CHRD press release. “If this request is not met, police have accused signatories of joining ‘an illegal association,’ being ‘suspected of plotting to overthrow the regime’ or otherwise intimidated or threatened them.”
Today a prominent mainland blog site, bullog.cn, was blocked, which may also be connected to Charter 08. A few of the liberal outlet’s bloggers wrote about the document, and at least four signed it. I spoke briefly with Bullog founder Luo Yonghao this afternoon. He said he wasn’t sure why the site was blocked, and wouldn’t speculate on a Charter 08 connection. C.A. Yeung of the Under the Jacaranda Tree blog noted in December that Bullog had dropped two of its bloggers, apparently for writing about Charter 08.