Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The "Crime" of Association

It is confirmed, my documentary film maker friend is under house arrest. He can only make 2 phone calls each week, one to his parents, one to his sister.

He is under lots of investigation. I am relieved that he is alive, but I also worry about his situation and his future.

He treads on the gray area: underworld religion, first gay bars in Beijing, concern of industrial usage of farmer's land. But his stories are more bright than angry, although accurate and thoughful.

He was arrested around Feb 22 or later. I was having lunch with him and one other friend, a lawyer, at the World Hotel in Beijing on Feb 17. We might be under surveillance already. He might be followed.

I still remember his smile full of vigor and hope talking about his new project. He carried lots of gears and had to let me help him with one of them while we walked from the lobby filled with foreign business men to the dining hall.

Right after lunch, I rushed to check out and was driven to airport for my flight to Hong Kong. I was wondering maybe my name is on some list already, because of the association. Maybe next time I go home, there will be officers waiting.

Maybe I had a narrow escape the last time.

There may already be records of me somewhere intriguing people, who is she, why is she here? Then I am proud. For certain association is meant to be. You don't bend for it.

While we had lunch, his eyes suddenly lighted up, "I think it is Albright that is at the table behind you." I turned around and saw the famous lady in an elegant red outfit, the former secretary of state to this country.

He said: "This is the place to be. Things are happening here".

I hope he still believes so. I hope they know that is what is on his mind, tell a true story of a country that is full of hope, not of secrets, fear and operession, a country and home that he is proud of.

Why is that a crime?

Our thoughts are with you.


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