Independent filmmaker Du Bin released on bail in Beijing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 8:49am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 9:08am

Police in Beijing have released renowned documentary filmmaker Du Bin on bail for five weeks after he disappeared from his apartment in the capital. 

"[On Monday] around 10 pm, he was released," his younger sister Du Jirong said, speaking on the phone from their hometown Linyi, in eastern China's Shandong province. "I'm very relieved."

Hu Jia, a well-known Beijing-based human rights advocate and friend of Du, also confirmed his release on bail.

Du is now free awaiting trial on charges of "creating disturbances", Hu said. The charges can lead to a jail sentence of up to 10 years, according to Chinese criminal law.

The filmmaker and journalist, who previously worked for the New York Times, was last seen on May 31. Concerned family found a summons order from the Fengtai District Public Security Bureau in his deserted apartment, but for two weeks police declined to confirm his detention to his family and partner.

His sister was informed in mid-June by police that he was being held at Fengtai detention facility and that his case was being investigated by state security. 

A week before his arrest, Du has published The Tiananmen Massacre, a book on the 1989 crackdown against students and workers calling for democracy on Beijing's streets, in Hong Kong.

Weeks earlier, he had released a documentary about detainees in the Masanjia women's labour camp in Liaoning province, exposing torture and humiliating treatment of mostly Falun Gong practitioners.

International human rights groups Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders had condemned his disappearance.