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Journalist and blogger Zhai Minglei summoned, home searched

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned a 29 November 2007 search at the home of journalist and blogger Zhai Minglei, who was due the following day to answer an official summons linked to an investigation into the "illegal publication" of the magazine "Minjian" (Civil Society).

Zhai posted on his blog, Yaobao, nominated for the international Best of the Blogs (BoB) awards, an account of what happened when police arrived at his home in Shanghai, eastern China.

"They searched every room of the house and took away my printer, the latest edition of the magazine 'Minjian', as well as my computer hard disc to look in my files," he said.

Those carrying out the search told him it was linked to the illegal publication of the magazine, However "Minjian" is "not in fact a private publication but a revue produced by the sociology department of the University of Sun Yat-sen which does not make any profit", Zhai said.

"Moreover it has no pornographic or reactionary content and is not linked to religion or minorities," he added. "Closure of this review is illegal, a violation of the freedom of the university, freedom of the press and the media in general."

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