More Than 60 Arrested at Gay Bar Raid in Shanghai


Steve mentioned this in his round-up post yesterday, but I feel it deserves some more attention.

Yesterday, more than 60 people were arrested by police in a raid on Q Bar in Shanghai, China.

AFP reports: "Police said "pornographic" shows were taking place when they arrived at the Q Bar in the early hours of Sunday, the Shanghai Daily reported. All those detained – DJs, customers and bar staff – were released later on Sunday, the report said. Some were held for up to 12 hours. Police and the bar owners were not immediately available for comment. Police gave no details about the shows that were allegedly being staged at the bar, which is a block away from the police station, the newspaper said."

Shanghaiist has the most thorough account of what went down, including these details:

The two Chinese proprietors of the bar, both named Tony, are confirmed to have been detained by police.

Witnesses: "According to their estimation, there were about five Caucasian patrons in the bar, but none of them were brought to the station. All other Chinese-looking party-goers were taken to the station in a police minivan in batches."

Arrestee: " In the ten plus hours we were locked up, we were kept without food or water, and this is inexcusable! Police attitude was also extremely rough! 60-70 people all cold and hungry and thirsty and tired. What law have we broken just drinking at a bar? If there was any problem with the bar, why let it operate in the first place?”

Detainees, which included a handful of female bar patrons, were reportedly not stripped but did not have access to jackets, and were kept in three rooms. Detainees were reportedly not tested for drugs but questioned extensively about the go-go boy act and whether the dancer was nude or had his genitalia visible.

Shanghaiist also notes: "A raid of this size on a gay bar has not been seen in Shanghai for years. In 2007, the former Club Deep, located in Jingan Park, had its Halloween party raided, shut down, and several party-goers detained for alleged drug abuse. Under Chinese law, the police can detain people without trial for a maximum of 24 hours, but let's hope the party-goers don't have to wait another 14 hours to be free."

(image via q bar)


  1. greenmanTN says

    The status of homosexuality in China and how it evolves it going to be interesting. Thanks to the “one child only” policy and the aborting of female fetuses because males are more prized in the culture, there is now a vast gender imbalance. Even though abortion on the basis of gender is illegal it’s widespread and 120-130 boys are born for every 100 girls and some of those girls are adopted overseas. By 2020 estimates say there will be 24 MILLION more Chinese males of marrying age than women. Rising crime rates have already been blamed on the gender imbalance as it exists now, including rape and forced prostitution.

    So far as I know there has never been a situation like this before and greater tolerance of homosexuality, at least male homosexuality, would seem one possible way of addressing it.

  2. Derrick from Philly says

    I was thinking the same thing, GREENMANTN. All these American women (and others) who can’t find husbands ought to think about contacting China and India for mail-order husbands. I’m thinking about it. The bartender in the above photo looks built and fierce!

  3. GregV says

    It’s shocking that, as far as China has advanced, the police could still be corrupt enough to arrest, detain and mistreat people who were just minding their own business socializing in a gay bar.
    This is the type of injustice one would normally associate with poorly-educated backwaters like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Fort Worth.

  4. Nanny McBone says

    @GREENMANTN RE: “So far as I know there has never been a situation like this before and greater tolerance of homosexuality, at least male homosexuality, would seem one possible way of addressing it.”

    And war is another way to address it. Which is something that has already been speculated upon.

  5. Patrick M says

    China is still a notorious police state, closer in mentality to Uganda and Zimbabwe than the USA. People forget/ overlook that amidst all the attention on its economic success.

    The government is quick to use torture against opponents of the regime, whether they are in Tibet or Shanghai. And they are corrupt enough to shake down and harass gay citizens on any slim pretext.

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