Departure Denied – Locked up in China

WDR ‘People at first hand’
A film by Frank Sieren
45 minute documentary
First broadcast: Thursday 15.05.2014, 22.30 on WDR

The case of the young freight forwarder Nils Jennrich made the headlines. The German was innocently sitting in jail in China. After the completion of his studies Neils Jennrich is looking for a great challenge in a faraway place. In Beijing the freight forwarder finds a job and the great love of his life. However the Chinese adventure becomes a nightmare in March 2012. He is arrested. The accusation is smuggling art. Nils thinks that a Chinese competitor wants to push his company out of the market. For 127 days, almost for four months, Nils will have to remain in custody in an overcrowded four person cell with thirteen others, in which nobody speaks English, the light never goes out, and which he can only leave for rare interrogations. His family is not allowed to visit him. His lawyer is not allowed to talk to him about the case. But he is also not indicted and therefore is unable to defend himself.
Only after the personal intervention of the former Minister of Justice Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, is Nils Jennrich released in August 2012. But it will still be a tough, months-long battle, with the repeated pressure of the Federal Government until Nils is finally allowed to depart. In this documentary Nils, his family, friends, his pregnant fiancé, the German ambassador and senior politicians recount how they fought for Nil’s freedom.