A visiting British photojournalist attempting to cover the aftermath of bombings in Xinjiang was detained for 7.5 hours by police, who said his travel documents were insufficient.
Jack Hill, a British photographer with The Times, renewed his J-2 visiting journalist visa last week in Beijing and was assured by Public Security Bureau officials that, though they needed to keep his passport for processing, he could travel and work throughout China with the receipt they provided him. A three-person team from The Times arrived Sunday evening at a shopping area and bomb-blast site in central Kuqa when they were approached by local police demanding to see their identification.
Richard Lloyd Parry, the writer traveling with Hill, was left alone when he produced his Olympics press accreditation. Hill, however, was told he needed to go the police station the next morning and pay a fine because the receipt for his passport and visa was not sufficient.
The next day, Hill arrived at the police station to pay the fine, but was kept there for 7.5 hours. Police denied his requests to be allowed to wait in his hotel for the problem to be resolved, and was told he’d be formally arrested if he left the police station. Hill was released only after Lloyd Parry asked a government official in a news conference why the photographer was being detained. The official’s staff telephoned the police, who then released Hill without requiring him to pay any fine or sign any statement.