Sources in China told HRIC that officials at Shanghai's Tilanqiao Prison took Zheng Enchong from his cell at 4:00 a.m. on June 5, and at around 5:00 a.m. sent him directly home. As reported by HRIC on June 1, Zheng had previously informed his wife, Jiang Meili, that he would be put through a battery of official procedures over the course of two days before having his freedom entirely restored. Zheng was scheduled for release on June 5 after serving a three-year sentence on charges of illegally providing state secrets overseas. He was detained while providing legal advice to people forcibly relocated in one of Shanghai's major redevelopment schemes.
Sources told HRIC that Jiang Meili, fearing obstruction by the authorities in her plans to meet her husband, spent the previous night at the home of a friend. Upon reaching the prison on the morning of June 5, she found Zheng already gone, and soon received a phone call confirming that he had returned home. HRIC has called Zheng's home to inquire after his welfare, and through his family Zheng expressed his gratitude to the international community for the great interest and concern relating to his case.
HRIC has also learned through sources in China of at least 8 cases of detention, house arrest, and harassment of petitioners leading up to the politically sensitive period surrounding the 17th anniversary of June 4th and Zheng Enchong's release:
- As reported by HRIC on May 26, long-time petitioner Mao Hengfeng
was detained on the evening of May 23 by police from Shanghai's Yangpu
District Public Security Dispatch Station. She was detained without any formal
legal procedures in the district's Kelaideng Hostel. In protesting her
unwarranted detention, Mao broke a lamp inside her hostel room, with the
result that on May 30, police placed her under criminal detention on the
charge of "intentionally damaging property."
- On the evening of June 3, police officers from Shanghai's Pudong New
District Damuqiao Dispatch Station detained petitioner Chen Enjuan and
carried out a search of her home.
- On June 2, petitioner Zhu Libing was detained in Beijing and
returned under escort to Shanghai. Sources say Zhu has been placed in criminal
detention after being severely beaten by police officers.
- On the evening of June 2, police officers from Pudong New District's
Wanggangzhen Dispatch Station placed petitioner Wu Dangying under
- On the morning of June 5, Jing'an District police detained petitioner
Wei Qin without a warrant, and left her young child at home temporarily
unattended. Wei's current whereabouts are unknown.
- A team of police officers was stationed outside of the home of petitioner
Ma Yalian, and she has not been allowed to set foot outside.
- Petitioner Sun Xicheng has also been subjected to effective house
arrest, with his door barricaded by neighborhood committee members.
- In Changning District, neighborhood committee representatives have placed
petitioners Xue Jianguo and Zhu Hua under detention in the
district's Jinghui Hostel.