A reporter with the German TV station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) was interviewing a young man in China about the newspaper censorship controversy, when, immediately after the interview, a team of plainclothes Chinese police picked up the man like a slab of meat and threw him into the back of an unmarked van, stunning the German camera crew.
China’s plainclothes state security agents are well known, particularly in Beijing and near politically sensitive sites such as Tienanmen Square. And it’s not uncommon for them to bundle perceived troublemakers, especially protesters or petitioners, into unmarked vans. But it is jarring to see police officers grabbing citizens so openly in front of a German TV news camera, given the Communist Party’s sensitivity to Western scrutiny of its human rights record.
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