Human Rights in China has learned that unidentified men today burst into the Shanghai home of rights defense lawyer Zheng Enchong (郑恩宠), threatening to beat him if he continues to speak out about the situation in Tibet.
Two people burst into Zheng’s apartment at 10 a.m., demanding to speak to the lawyer. Because Zheng Enchong was next door in his brother’s apartment, Zheng’s wife, Jiang Meili (蒋美丽), asked what business they had with her husband. One of the men responded: “Tell your husband not to meddle in the Tibet question. This is a betrayal of his country. We in Shandong don’t agree! If he makes any more statements about this, we will come and beat him to death.”
Jiang Meili contacted the police, and asked how these unidentified people had been able to gain access to her home and harass her family, given that Zheng Enchong is under 24-hour state surveillance, including video cameras intended to record his comings and goings. The officer on duty had no answer for her, however, and refused to let her see the surveillance footage, saying that Zheng would have to check with his superiors.
Since his release from prison in June 2006, Zheng Enchong has been repeatedly harassed by the authorities. He and his wife live under 24-hour surveillance and the police sometimes prevent them from carrying out such day-to-day activities as attending church. In February 2008, Zheng was detained by the police and beaten by unidentified persons.
In late March, an essay written by Zheng Enchong and posted on the Internet included comments about the protests in Tibet in mid-March, and expressed support for the “12 Suggestions on Tibet to the Chinese Authorities” written by Chinese independent intellectuals. Since the incidents in Tibet, little tolerance has been shown to anyone speaking out on the rights of Tibetans.
Zheng’s family is concerned that this pattern of harassment mirrors that prior to his arrest in June 2003 on charges of “illegally providing state secrets abroad.” Zheng served three years in prison following his conviction on those charges. He was released from prison in June 2006, but under the terms of his sentence, Zheng was then subject to one year’s deprivation of political rights, which ended in June 2007.
For more information on Zheng Enchong, see: