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Wife of detained democracy activist expelled from China

May 22, 2002


Fu Xiang, wife of detained democracy activist Yang Jianli, was detained upon arrival in Beijing on May 22 for two hours and then was expelled from the country. Fu Xiang returned to China in an attempt to rescue Yang Jianli and assert her rights as a relative of the detained activist. Fu Xiang is a naturalized American citizen. Yang Jianli, a U.S. permanent resident, is a representative of the Chinese democracy movement overseas. He returned to China to investigate workers’ protests that have broken out in northeastern China, but he was arrested by the public security police in Kunming, Yunnan Province on April 26.

"China promises the world it follows a rule of law. So far, this case shows how empty this promise really is," declared Liu Qing, President of Human Rights in China.

The Chinese police violated Chinese law by failing to inform Yang Jianli’s family within 24 hours following his arrest about the reason for the detention, the place of detention, and how Yang Jianli was treated. In China, lawyers can not accept cases until a formal notice of arrest has been received. As a result of the police failure to follow procedures, Fu Xiang has been unable to hire a lawyer for her husband. In addition, she had made every effort to deal with the proper Chinese authorities on behalf of her husband without any success.

Fu Xiang also approached the U.S. State Department and various senators and congressional representatives for help. Although the State Department contacted the Chinese government a number of times, there has been no progress.

Human Rights in China calls upon the U.S government to support Fu Xiang’s efforts to assert her rights under Chinese law. In addition, Human Rights in China calls upon the Chinese government to allow Fu Xiang to visit her husband and to allow her to hire a lawyer on his behalf.

Yang Jianli is an outstanding scholar who earned a doctorate in mathematics and a doctorate in international politics and economics. Yang’s name has been blacklisted since June 1989.

Human Rights in China urges the Chinese government to: (1) abide by Chinese law to ensure fair proceedings, (2) to respect the rights of family members of detained persons, including visitation rights, and (3) to ensure that Yang Jianli is permitted to retain legal counsel.

For more information, contact:
Liu Qing (212) 239- 2082 (Chinese)
Sharon Hom (212) 239-4495 (English)