Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer, Swiss photographers, were detained for three hours in Wuchang, the southern area of Wuhan. Uniformed police detained the photographers shortly after residents started describing how they had been beaten up and threatened in a dispute over property. It was the third time the couple have been detained during their travels around China. They said it was the most unpleasant experience.
“They were much rougher in the way they treated us,” said Braschler. “After two hours, we said we are just going to leave. Then the chief of police came. He was very unfriendly and threatened to detain us for 12 hours if we didn’t go back to the police station. He seriously threatened us. The (police) said we couldn’t go until they checked us.”
Eventually someone from the police foreign affairs department arrived, and invited the photographers to lunch to clarify the situation. “We said no.Then they got tough again. They said they wanted to check all our film, carmeras and notebook. I said two options – either we are free so we can go. Or we are arrested so we call the Swiss Embassy. Eventually they let us go,” said Braschler.