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My husband Li Heping, Part 2—I Have No Choice But to Send the Children Away

July 24, 2015

After Heping was taken away by police officers without any proper procedure, we kept waiting for a detention notice to be served. And then after 48 hours, we started to actively search for him. But the only response we got was, “I don’t know.” Afterwards, when I heard that a child of lawyers was taken away by the police, I could no longer remain calm.

When I went to go see my children off at the station, I couldn’t control my tears. My son didn’t want to leave. But I told him: if you stay in Beijing, I would have to leave your sister with you when I go out because I can’t take your sister with me. You and your sister are both minors. If bad people come, you can call 110 for help. But if the police come to take you away when I’m not home, 110 won’t help you. At least if you left Beijing, you would have grownups around you at our ancestral home. But everything I told him was to give myself some comfort too.

Only when the children had left did I realize I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep. When the light is on, I can’t sleep. When I sleep, I’ll remember that a lawyer was subdued in bed after his home was broken into in the middle of the night. And I thought I’d better wear pajamas instead of a nightgown, because I don’t know when the police come to grab women whether they would send women officers. Rhythmic sounds of footsteps from outside the door would make my heart jump to my throat. And I couldn’t sleep even after the footsteps faded. In the morning, a light knocking on door would make my heart clench in fear. The knocking stopped after a while. But I was still worried: did someone come inside already?

I’m wondering: I didn’t commit murder or arson, why is it that when I see a tall, burly man I would instinctively suspect that he is a police officer who is coming to take me and my children away? Where is this terror of mine coming from?

Source (CH):