Brian Conley, creator of the citizen journalist web news program Alive in Baghdad, was detained along with his friend Jefferey Rae in Beijing on Tuesday, August 19. According to Free Tibet 2008, Conley and Rae were in China taking photos and video of a recent protest by Students for a Free Tibet supporters at the Chinese Ethnic Culture Park.
The full details of their detention are not known at this time. Conley and Rae checked out of their hotel early Tuesday morning in Beijing, and at 12:30 p.m. China Time, Conley’s wife back in Philadelphia received a text message from Conley saying “In jail. All fine.”
Update: According to Free Tibet 2008, Conley and five other activists have been given 10-day detention terms.
There aren’t many details on the detention, but Free Tibet 2008 indicates that Conley and Rae may be being held with international artist James Powderly of the Graffiti Research Lab, who was in Beijing preparing a laser light-based protest. Three other bloggers and activists, Jeff Goldin, Michael Liss, and Tom Grant, who were also in Beijing helping pro-Tibet activists, are also missing.
Conley’s award-winning Alive in Baghdad brought a unique and unfiltered perspective to the war in Iraq. The series has struggled financially and suffered a devastating blow last December when one of its Iraqi reporters, Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi, was killed at home during an Iraqi National Guard raid in his neighborhood.