October 7, 2019
Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained the brother of a prominent legal scholar after he posted an Islamic State video to social media in protest at a recent visit to Beijing by the Taliban.
He Weitong, younger brother of Peking University law professor He Weifang, is being held under criminal detention in Beijing on suspicion of “disseminating extremist, terrorist content,” his friends said.
He was detained after posting a 10-second clip of Islamic State militants executing unarmed civilians on Sept. 12, a friend who gave only his surname Zhang told RFA.
“He was taken into criminal detention on Sept. 30,” Zhang said. “They are holding him on suspicion of disseminating terrorism and possessing terrorist content.”
He Weifang only commented briefly when contacted by RFA on Monday.
“There are a lot of media reports saying, wrongly, that he was detained because of his association with me, but that’s not what’s happening at all,” he said, adding that the police had likely “made a mistake.”
“I didn’t see anything in his [online] comments that would justify treating him in this way,” he said, adding that his own WeChat had been permanently shut down by the authorities ahead of the 70th anniversary National Day celebrations on Oct. 1.
Zhang said He Weitong, who works in legal publishing, is very familiar with Chinese law, and couldn’t be further from supporting terrorism.