China arrests quake critic on secrets charge

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese police arrested a human rights campaigner in the country’s southwest for “possession of state secrets” after he offered help to parents of children killed in the region’s massive earthquake, his family said.

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Huang Qi was detained in quake-hit Sichuan province on June 10, and on Friday police told his mother of his formal arrest on the secrets charge, his wife Zeng Li said by phone on Saturday.

Police in the Wuhou area of Sichuan‘s provincial capital Chengdu, where Huang was arrested, said they had no knowledge of the case.

But his arrest appeared related to his support for parents whose children died in the May 12 quake, when many schools crumbled, raising accusations of shoddy building and lax safety checks, said his wife and rights groups.

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