HRIC has learned Shanghai authorities have initiated a crackdown on activists leading up to the 17th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown. Shanghai petitioner Mao Hengfeng has again been detained and the father of dissident Xu Zhengqing was summoned by the police after posting an open letter to Kofi Annan on May 19.
Some time after 11 p.m. on May 23, Mao was forcibly taken away by over ten police officers from the Yangpu District Daqiao police station led by Bai Jiemin (Officer No. 039351), the officer who had previously beaten Mao in February 2006. The next day, Mao Hengfeng’s husband, Wu Xuewei, received a summons from the Daqiao station stating that Mao had been detained for violating rules of residential surveillance. Also on May 24, when Wu was at the detention center, he heard Mao’s loud protests coming from the room where she was being held. That night, when Mao’s daughter went to deliver food to Mao, she was told by a Daqiao officer that Mao had already been transferred elsewhere. Despite repeated inquiries by Mao’s husband, her whereabouts cannot be confirmed.
On February 13, 2006, Mao Hengfeng was taken into custody by police from the Yangpu District Daqiao station and placed under residential surveillance on suspicion of “violating processes for public order” at the Gongqing Senlin apartment complex in Yangpu District. During this time in custody Mao was completely deprived of her personal liberty, mistreated and on many occasions, physically beaten. She was under the daily supervision of five to six guards and had to even get permission to use the restroom.
According to HRIC’s sources, Xu Yongdao, the elderly father of Xu Zhengqing, submitted an open letter on May 19 during UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s visit to China, requesting that Annan intervene in asking the Chinese government to release his son. Xu Zhengqing was sentenced to three years imprisonment on October 17, 2006, for commemorating the death of former Party leader Zhao Ziyang. As a result, on the afternoon of March 24, Xu Yongdao was taken in for a “discussion” with officers from the Changshou branch of the Shanghai Putuo District PSB where he was warned by the director of the local neighborhood committee against making further complaints or traveling to Beijing. Xu had been monitored by Shanghai authorities since February and is not allowed to leave his home. On March 8, after Xu went outside, Xu’s “watchers” assaulted him and he fractured a bone in his arm.
Sources have confirmed that since his conviction, Xu Zhengqing has not been allowed visitors in prison. On December 19, Xu sent a statement to HRIC from prison declaring his innocence and that his real “criminal act” was to commemorate Zhao Ziyang.