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China: Swedish student's passport confiscated for flash mob call

Categories: China, Sweden, Activism, Legal Threats

A Swedish student, Sven Englund studying in Shanghai Fudan University was summoned by Shanghai police for writing a letter to the Chinese President Hu Jintao in his blog. His passport has been confiscated after the interrogation.

Below is the summon document issued by the Shanghai police:


It stated that Sven Englund is suspected of “being harmful to social management” and has violated article 55 of the “PRC social security management law”. The interrogation was set on July 1, 2011 at the school general office.

According to Sven Englund's tweet[zh], he was planning to return to Sweden on July 26, but now the Shanghai police has confiscated his passport. The police promised to return the passport to him on July 7, 2011 (Today). He has contacted the Swedish embassy[zh] but the ambassador is helpless.

During the interrogation, the police officers asked him to disclose the login password[zh] of his blog, but he refused, saying that their demand has violated his rights.

Below is a translation of his blog post[zh] published on June 27, 2011:

Dear President Hu:


You haven't replied to my first two letters. Probably you are too busy with your preparation of July 1 celebration. Actually, I have my own planning and preparation. Today, I took some photos in the Shanghai Putong district. The idea comes from Ai Weiwei. Do you know Ai Weiwei? He had an Art exhibition called “Fuck art”. I usually do not use that term, but freedom of information is very important. In my opinion, China do not have such freedom. Hence I have this plan for my “July 1″: a flash mob action at 6pm at Pudong district. I cannot just go there alone, I need a “flash mob”, that's why I wish you can join me and forward this message to all your friends who love freedom. If you do not have time to come to Shanghai, you can organize a “flash mob” in any of your city. Okay?

The plan of this flash mob action is like this: come to Pudong or other suitable spot in your city at 5:50pm. Then freeze your action at 6pm. It would be great if you wear the word “freedom” in your body, so that more people would understand the meaning of our action. You can resume your move at 6:05pm. Just go wherever your like, I would go home to prepare for my examination. Do you understand? You can take reference from Youtube:

Maybe you can't access the website because in China you don't have information freedom. In that case you can go here: http://player.youku.com/player.php/sid/XMTQ2OTA1MTM2/v.swf

Below are some photos for your reference:


Ai Wei Wei's photo


my photo, I like hug better


Ai Weiwei's finger


My finger! Meaning: be a flash mob on July 1

Time: July 1 (Friday), 15:55-18:05 (18:00 “freeze”)
Place: Shanghai Pudong or a suitable spot in your own city. (if you want to organize the action, please let me know).

If you want to join, please leave a message in the comment section. Forward this to your friends who are freedom lovers. If you are organizing your own action in your city, please remember to upload photos and videos of the action.

Wish you happy everyday.
Friend, Sven.
June 27, 2011.