Civil Servant Accused of Kidnapping Six Women to Keep as 'Sex Slaves'

A Chinese civil servant has been arrested and accused of kidnapping six women from karaoke bars to imprison and keep as "sex slaves" a secret room he'd dug underneath a rented basement. So, naturally, the city government arrested a journalist who wrote about the story.

It's a huge story in Luoyang in the Henan Province: Married former firefighter Li Hao allegedly kept six women for two years in a dug-out complex beneath a residential complex in which he'd rented a room, far away from his wife and son in Luoyang, China. The women were regularly raped and forced to act in homemade porn films that Li would upload to the internet; they were fed once every two days and provided with a TV and video games to "entertain themselves." Li killed two of the women (for "disobedience") before one escaped and tipped off the police—they've all been rescued, though apparently some are still being detained for possibly being involved in the deaths of two of the women.

Awful, right? Because of the horrible "rape and murder" thing, right, whatever, but also because Luoyang is participating in a national competition to be declared a "Civilized City," and, well, "civil servant keeping sex slaves" doesn't really scream "civilized." You know what does, though? Detaining journalists to prevent the story from being written about:

But perhaps almost as disturbing, at least to some readers, was that the journalist who exposed the crime more than two weeks after the suspect's arrest was detained by security agents who accused him of revealing state secrets.

After his release from questioning on Thursday, the reporter, Ji Xuguang, wrote an article that accused the authorities of trying to keep the public in the dark about a heinous crime that unfolded less than two miles from the city's public security bureau.

Boom! Talk about civilized! Let's give these guys two awards!

[Xinhua, Daily Mail, NYT; image of Luoyang in a dust storm via AP]