We filmed a story about industrial development and environmental pollution near Jiaozuo in Zhong Zhan County, two hours drive from Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province.
We initially took shots from outside factories in the area.
One of the factories was the chemical plant Do-Fluoride.
Do-Fluoride security guards stopped us from filming, blocked our way and took us into custody.
We were surrounded by workers and officials from the factory who asked for our footage and didn't let us go.
Local police showed up.
I informed the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.
After four hours an official from the local Waiban arrived.
They brought us to a building which turned out to be a factory canteen.
Outside more and more workers gathered as local police guarded the doors and tried to protect us.
Factory officials appeared to have misinformed workers and agitated against us.
We were considered spies who had tried to gather intelligence regarding Do-Flouride’s technology.
Then workers stormed the building, overran the police destroying the doors, attacked us and took our camera.
It was all too obvious that the official from the local Waiban was not in the position to give orders to the factory officials.
On the contrary, throughout the night, it was clear that the company officials were in charge.
We got back our camera but where forced to hand over our tape.
Yet still they didn't let us go. Workers outside shouted "Kill the foreign spies".
We were held there for nine hours.
In the end a SWAT team of armed special police arrived and escorted us from the building.
Without their help we would not have been able to leave.