Chinese Authorities Put Human Rights Lawyer Under House Arrest, Officials Tell of Curfews
article by Daiki Kimura FNN former Beijing Branch Chief Reporter
Chinese authorities impose curfew on human rights lawyers
On December 9, the Chinese authorities took some harsh measures against human rights lawyers. On December 9, the Chinese authorities took some harsh measures against human rights lawyers, restricting them from leaving the country and placing them under virtual house arrest at home.
The families of the human rights lawyers posted a series of videos on their social networking sites showing the authorities visiting their homes and restricting them from leaving.
One of the victims of such measures taken by the authorities was Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer. Wang’s wife, Li Wenzhi, posted a video on social media showing a group of men standing in a house, blocking people from going out.
When a resident asked, “Who are you people?” they refused to reveal their identities, saying, “We have nothing to say to you.
Authorities restricting people from leaving the house (from Li Wenzhi’s SNS on the morning of December 9, 2020).
In another video, authorities officials can be seen entering a residence and telling family members that they are restricted from leaving the house.
The scene just before the tape was put on the security camera (from the SNS of Ms. Li Wenzhi on the morning of December 9, 2020)
In the video of the security camera set up by the resident, we can also see a person putting tape on the camera lens in advance in order to obstruct the filming.
Tape being placed on a security camera (from Ms. Li Wen-chi’s SNS on the morning of December 9, 2020)
Ms. Wang is one of more than 300 human rights lawyers who have been detained en masse by Chinese authorities since July 2015. He was detained for more than three years without a trial, and his family was not informed of his safety. Wang said he was tortured during interrogations and forced to admit guilt.
Wang Quanzhang being interviewed by FNN (December 9, 2020)
Mr. Wang’s wife, Li Wen-chi, protested his prolonged detention and appealed for his release with her head shaved.
Mr. Wang’s wife, Li Wen-chi (January 2019)
However, Wang was sentenced to four years and six months in prison in Shandong Province for overthrowing the state regime, and even after his release in April 2020, he was not allowed to immediately return to Beijing where his family was waiting for him, but was kept under surveillance by the authorities, citing measures against the new coronavirus. He was later reunited with his family for the first time in about five years, and is now living at home in Beijing with his wife, seven-year-old son, and other family members.
He has also filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office against the police officers in charge of his case over the torture he was subjected to during the interrogation. In an interview with FNN, Ms. Wang explained the reality of the restrictions imposed by the authorities.
“The reality of the restrictions: “I can’t go out for two to three days.
“As far as I know, three or four of my friends are in a similar situation. That includes two lawyers.
Ms. Wang said that the restrictions on going out extended to several of her friends. It was around 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the 9th when something strange happened at home. When the doorbell rang, he opened it to find a group of strangers standing there. They stood there to prevent her from going out, and urged her to go inside with a one-sided hand gesture. “When he asked them what they were doing, they gave him no answer.
Mr. Wang called another police officer and asked, “What is going on? He was the one who had driven Ms. Wang back to her home in Beijing from Shandong Province, where she had been under surveillance. After a while, the policeman showed up at his house and said, “You can’t go out today. You can’t go out for the next two or three days.
Wang Quanzhang with his wife and children at their home in Beijing, April 2020.
Mr. Wang has a son who is in elementary school. He has a son in elementary school, and his father-in-law is in the hospital for checkups.
Ms. Wang protested to the policeman that she should be allowed to go out when her son goes to school or when her immediate family goes to the hospital. He was told that he would tell his supervisor, and was finally granted temporary permission to go out. However, whenever he went out, he was always followed by the authorities, who kept a close eye on him.
“Wary of sending out a message to coincide with World Human Rights Day?
This time, when Ms. Wang asked why she was restricted from going out, she was simply told, “You know why. Ms. Wang said, “They probably thought I was going to participate in an event related to World Human Rights Day. I think that’s why they stopped me in advance.
In fact, December 10, the day after the curfew began, fell on World Human Rights Day, a day designated by the United Nations.
On this day, various related events are held at embassies of various countries in China. China has been criticized by the international community, including the U.S., for its suppression of human rights in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Under these circumstances, it is believed that the Chinese government was wary that human rights lawyers, who have attracted the attention of the foreign media, would participate in the events, criticize the regime, and send out messages of human rights protection.
Security at a district where embassies of European countries are gathered, in Beijing, December 10, 2020.
In fact, Ms. Wang said that she has been prevented from leaving the house on days other than World Human Rights Day. That day was September 17, the US Constitution Day, when more than 20 police officers surrounded her house. The police officer who prevented her from going out told her, “I know I don’t have much to do with you. But you can’t go out.
“At a press conference on the 10th, the day of World Human Rights Day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asserted that “the Chinese government attaches a high level of importance to the promotion and protection of human rights” with regard to the human rights situation in China.
It added, “We have solved the food and clothing problems of 1.4 billion people, reduced the poverty of more than 850 million people, provided employment for 770 million people, provided basic security for 250 million elderly people, 85 million people with disabilities, and more than 43 million people in urban and rural areas under the minimum security system, and built the world’s largest middle-income class and the world’s largest rural population. It has the world’s largest middle-income class, and has built the world’s largest education system, social security system, medical system, and end-organized democratic election system,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference (December 10, 2020)
On the other hand, Ms. Wang, who was restricted from going out, pointed out that “it is becoming more and more common for the police to abuse their power and restrict the freedom of action of the people at will,” and appealed that “restricting the freedom of action of Chinese citizens is an illegal act and should be condemned.
As of April 14, “the authorities have left the area in front of my house,” he said, but Ms. Wang remains a target of the Chinese authorities’ vigilance. Ms. Wang’s appeal will continue in the future, hoping that there will be no more concerns about restrictions on her freedom of action.