Alive in Baghdad founder detained in China
Brian Conley, who runs the award-winning video blog Alive in Baghdad, has been detained in Beijing whilst documenting pro-Tibet protests in the city running alongside the Olypmics.
Conley has been of incredible help to MexicoReporter.com, helping me with video editing and filming tips during the early days, and also helped the Frontline Club promote the Frontline Club live video channel. Conley has â€œdedicated his life to helping oppressed people communicate their struggles to the world. Since 2004 he has worked on the video blog Alive in Baghdad which produces and distributes weekly video segments about daily life in Iraq and the impact of the war,â€ says his wife Eowy.
According to an email from Eowyn – who is 31 weeks pregnant with their first child – Conley was arrested by Chinese authorities for this work, along with 5 others working with Students for a Free Tibet, Jeff Rae (who also works with Alive in Baghdad), James Powderly, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant.
As of about 8 pm Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, August 21 Brian and 5 others had been detained for approximately 77 hours, with no communication from them and minimal direct information from the Chinese authorities.
Earlier on Thursday, according to the Agency France Press the Beijing police disclosed that â€œThomasâ€ and 5 other unnamed activists had been sentenced to 10 days administrative detention for â€œupsetting public order.â€ We believe that the 6 detainees are Brian Conley, Jeff Rae (who also works with Alive in Baghdad), James Powderly, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant.
After 72 hours of detention, foreign governments are expected to inform local embassies of the detention of any foreign nationals. The US Embassy has been confirmed the names of the 6 detainees with the Chinese authorities. The Embassy has also been in touch with Eowyn and assured her that they are working diligently to gain access to Brian and the other detainees.
For more information about the detention of Brian Conley and 5 others in Beijing, please see www.freetibet2008.org . Please consider donating money to Students for a Free Tibet to support their work. To get regular updates about Brianâ€™s situation or to arrange an interview with me (Eowyn Rieke, Brianâ€™s wife), please email [email protected]