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Police detain Chinese activists ahead of newspaper protest

Published on Jan 7, 2014 2:24 PM

GUANGZHOU (REUTERS) - Chinese authorities have detained some activists in the southern city of Guangzhou to try to derail a protest planned for Tuesday to commemorate a strike by reporters at an outspoken newspaper, several activists said.

The clampdown comes on the first anniversary of a rare newsroom strike at the Southern Weekly over censorship, which some experts say was the trigger for tighter controls on Chinese media in the past year under President Xi Jinping.

At least three activists contacted by Reuters said they would not join the protest after being warned by police.

"In recent days, those who were planning to mark the anniversary were either asked to meet (police), warned, put under house detention, forced to go on holiday...or were detained," said Mr Wu Wei, also known by his pen-name Ye Du, the Guangzhou-based deputy head of the Independent Chinese Pen Centre, which campaigns for freedom of expression in China.

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