| BEIJING, April 29
BEIJING, April 29 Chinese police have placed a
labour activist under criminal detention, formally accusing him
of causing a disturbance after they said he distributed
information online about a factory strike, his manager and
father said on Tuesday.
The move is the latest sign that authorities in China have
been shaken by recent labour unrest such as a 2-week strike by
workers at Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, a $5.6
billion manufacturer of footwear for Nike Inc, Adidas AG
and other international brands.
In what activists say was one of China's biggest labour
protests since market reforms began in the late 1970s, Yue Yuen
workers went on strike in the southern city of Dongguan on April
14, to protest against what they said were chronically low
company contributions to social insurance and housing provident
fund accounts. Yue Yuen said on Friday that more than 80 percent
of its 40,000-strong workforce had returned to work.
Lin Dong, a 27-year-old activist who works for the Shenzhen
Chunfeng Labour Dispute Service Center, was taken into custody a
week ago, his manager, Zhang Zhiru, told Reuters. Police were
holding him on "suspicion of causing a disturbance", Zhang said.
Lin's father, Lin Xiaoxiong, confirmed his son's detention in
Lin Dong has been a labour activist for a year and was
involved in "protecting workers' rights," his father said.
Police in Dongguan told Zhang on Monday that Lin Dong had
spread information through the popular QQ instant-messaging tool
about a strike at a Taiwanese-owned factory, Delta Electronics
Inc, in Dongguan, Zhang said in a statement to Chinese
Human Rights Defenders, an overseas-based rights advocacy group.
Zhang himself was detained for two days earlier this month
by security agents who told him not to make contact with Yue
Police in the township of Gaobu in Dongguan declined to
comment on Tuesday.
(Additional reporting by Li Hui; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)