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China detains citizen journalists after Tiananmen 'immolation': Amnesty

Published on Mar 13, 2014 10:45 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China has detained at least four people including the founder of a citizen-run news website which reported that a woman set herself on fire last week in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, a rights group said on Thursday.

Mr Huang Qi, founder of 64TianWang, a website which compiles reports from volunteers across China, was "taken away by 11 police officers", on Thursday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, London-based advocacy group Amnesty International said.

In a series of raids in the past week, police also detained at least three citizen journalists who contribute to the website - Liu Xuehong, Xing Jian and Wang Jing - all on charges of "picking quarrels and provoking troubles", Amnesty added in a statement.

Citing witnesses, at least two of those said to be detained had told foreign media that a woman had attempted to self-immolate last week in Tiananmen Square, the symbolic centre of the Chinese state. The 64TianWang website published photos showing smoke in the area.

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