One of the world’s most famous photojournalists has gone missing in China, and there are reports that he was arrested by government security officers.
Lu Guang, who has won some of photography’s most prestigious awards for documenting environmental and societal issues in China, was visiting the Xinjiang region in northwest China when he was arrested, his wife Xu Xiaoli told reporters.
According to the BBC, the 57-year-old award-winning photographer had arrived in the capital city of Urumqi, intending to fly to Sichuan later to meet a friend, identified only as Mr. Chen.
However, Mr. Chen was unable to contact the photographer as they had planned.
Mr. Chen then contacted Lu’s wife, Ms. Xu, who informed him that she had not heard from Lu for several days.
Ms. Xu explained she was later contacted by the wife of the person who had invited her husband to Xinjiang and was told that both Lu and the host had been taken away by national security.
Ms. Xu wrote on Twitter:
“He has been lost for more than 20 days, and as his most direct family member, I have not received any notice of his arrest.”
“I have repeatedly contacted Xinjiang police but have been unable to get through.”
The acclaimed best photographer in journalism has won three World Press Photo awards. In 2004, he won World Press Photo competition for his exposure of “AIDS villages,” where 678 people got infected with HIV after selling their blood.
He also won the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund in 2009 and a National Geographic Photography Grant in 2010.
Back in 2005, he became the first photographer from China to be invited as a “visiting scholar to the United States” by the US Department of State.
As recently reported by BBC, Xinjiang, in far western China, has become notorious for its tight security controls and surveillance and police presence amid a widely criticized operation to tackle what it says is growing radicalism among the ethnic Uighur Muslim community.
Throughout this region, the government is also sensitive to criticism and has even detained multiple reporters who were caught investigating negative stories about China.
In a recent interview with BBC (before his disappearance), Lu said:
“The reality in China is you never know if you’re going to get into trouble because there are no written rules.”
Cédric Alviani, the director of Reporters Without Borders’ East Asia bureau, have called on China government to disclose where the photographer is and “guarantee journalists’ freedom of movement and security, including in Xinjiang Province.”
Worker in Wuhai City, Inner Mongolia
A heavy truck carrying coal and lime drives away, causing dust to fly and harming the nearby residents.
11-year-old Xu Li is diagnosed with bone cancer.
Pollution effects on children.
The pipeline of the Newport Oil Wharf of Dalian Bay exploded, sending lots of oil into the sea. Fishing boats were assigned to clean up the oil contamination for 8,150 times.
The photographer won World Press Photo for his exposure of “AIDS villages”, where people 678 people got infected with HIV after selling their blood.
Woman carrying her severely ill grandson implores the sky to prevent the devil of pain returning.
Disabled orphans adopted by charitable farmers.
Children with cerebral palsy licks milk powder off a bed to feed.
Factory employees working in the dust.
Factory dumping mineral processing sewage into the tailings dam.
Man caring for his dying wife.
They sold everything to pay for medical expenses.
Two girls prepare for the funeral of their brother, who died from AIDS.