by Rex Wockner
Beijing police raided and closed two gay bathhouses on March 20 and 21, according to a report circulated on Asian gay mailing lists by AIDS activists in China and Malaysia.
The March 26 report said the city’s most popular gay bathhouse, Club Oasis, was raided March 20, and 70 patrons and employees were taken into custody. It said the patrons were released 30 hours later but the staff remained jailed.
The report said another Oasis bathhouse near Dongsishitiao Bridge was raided March 21 and the staff, but not the customers, were taken into custody.
The report, which carried the byline of well-known Chinese AIDS activist Wan Yanhai, said a third bathhouse reportedly had met a similar fate at the same time, but provided no details.
The report also included a list of other recent alleged police actions against gay men, including a bar raid and temporary closure, raids of cruisy parks, and arrests of sex workers tracked down via their Web postings.