Breaking News: HE Xiaobo was released. Two still being detained

 

The photo was taken on the released day (7 April 2016). HE held his daughter on his arm, his wife is on the sofa. (Photos from ifeng.com - http://news.ifeng.com/a/20160408/48392291_0.shtml?from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=)

 

HE Xiaobo, one of the seven detained Guangdong labour activists and director of the Nanfeiyan Workers Service Center, was released on bail and returned home to his family yesterday evening. In an audio message, He affirmed that he has returned home safely and would like to extend his gratitude to everyone for their support.

 

During his captivity, He was constantly subjected to severe psychological and physical abuse.  Not only was he put to long hours of interrogation, Xiaobo also suffered from a benign liver tumor.  The case was widely reported in the international media, which must be attributed Xiaobo's wife, Yang Min.  Although Yang Min was under house arrest for a brief period, she persistently published Xiaobo's news and created much awareness, which led to the eventual release of He. 

 

So far, five Guangdong labour activists has been released, with Zeng Feiyang & Meng Han still being detained. The charges on the released activists have yet to be dropped.

 

Threat against Meng Han’s family

Since the first day of his detention, Meng was interrogated successively for 16 days in a row. He was only allowed to sleep for two to three hours per day. The authorities questioned Meng on the operations of Panyu Migrant Workers Centre and the strike at Lide Shoe Factory. The police assumed that MENG had led, promoted and fuelled the labour dispute and demanded Meng to accuse Zeng Feiyang in exchange of a lenient sentence. Meng could meet his lawyer after several requests from his lawyer, he told his lawyer that he refused the above bait from the authorities and denied the accusations.

 

On the other hand, Meng's girlfriend and his parents received harassments from their landlord on a number of occassions since his detention and they were forced to move although their tenancy would not be due until 2017. On 29 March, several unidentified men gathered around Meng's home and approached Meng's girlfriend with iron clubs when she opened the door. They hit the door with their iron clubs in brute force and inflicted substaintial damage when Meng's girlfriend tried to close the door. Despite Meng's father reported the crime to the police on the same night, the police were relutant to investigate and just told them to move.

The door lock lock of Meng's home was damaged after the attack by a few unknown men. (Photos from Weibo)

 

Zeng Feiyang’s condition is unknown

Zeng’s rights to see his lawyer have been illegally denied and his condition remains unknown. The official media Xinhua judged him before the trial from the court’s decision. As a smear campaign to defame Zeng and the Panyu Center, the official media Xinhua News Agency published an article on 22 December last year and alleged the Lide Shoe Factory Strike as a "major public order disturbance incident". Zeng was involved in organising Lide Shoe Factory workers, who demanded the repayment of their missing social insurance and severance pay. Yet the state media accused him of, “making use of free rights defending services to accept overseas funding, severely disrupting social order and violating labour rights”. The media also adopted stigmatization to discredit Zeng, indicating that Zeng had used rights defending as a means to gain sexual privileges and took part in online nude chats and prostitution. The state media, China Central Television (CCTV) even came up with a 24-minute documentary to support the official story.

 

The background of the above crackdown

Since 3 December, the authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have carried out a coordinated and wide-ranging crackdown on labour rights activists and labour organizations in the province. More than 25 people from at least four labour organizations were taken away and questioned by the police. Seven of them were criminally detained or uncertain whereabouts.

 

Meng's father's detailed written record about the harassment against hos family so far, the attack on 29 Mar 2016 and the forced removal by landlord although the tenancy is due in 2017 but not this year

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