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State security authorities extort June Fourth funds

February 9, 2000

During a recent visit to China, Wen-he Lu was forcibly prevented from delivering over $25,000 in humanitarian assistance funds to Ding Zilin and the families of June 4 victims. On his way to Ding Zilin’s home, Lu was pulled over, coercively detained for interrogation and placed under residential surveillance for the remainder of his visit. Following repeated threats to his family, friends and personal freedom, Lu was forced to sign over the humanitarian assistance funds, which were held in a U.S. bank account, to Chinese State Security authorities. Currently, State Security officials are threatening Lu’s 78 year-old father, who had agreed to be Lu’s guarantor, because authorities have not been successful in receiving the funds. Authorities have threatened to repossess the elder Lu’s house and have it sold if the $25,000 is not paid.

Such excessive measures demonstrate the continuing persecution of June 4 victims, who are forbidden to publicly mourn the loss of their loved ones and are denied even purely humanitarian assistance from abroad. Against the backdrop of China’s intensifying crackdown, such measures also illustrate the aggressive drive with which State Security organs are implementing national security laws in order to squelch all perceived signs of dissent.

Throughout the time of Lu’s interrogation, State Security officers insisted that Lu had violated Chinese law by “endangering state security.” The outrageousness of Lu’s detention, the confiscation of $25,000 from a U.S. bank account, and the persecution of Lu’s elderly father--all for the simple “crime” of delivering humanitarian assistance funds to the families of June 4 victims--demonstrates the Chinese authorities’ gross abuse of the vaguely defined concept of “state security,” and the true means by which China implements “rule by law.” Under China’s much-touted system of “rule by law,” the law is imposed on citizens--promulgated, enforced and arbitrarily interpreted to suit the interests of the ruling elites. In this case, the law not only strips its own citizens of basic rights, it is also extended to manipulate banking transactions in a U.S. bank, violating the goodwill of international business norms.

[Full text of the press release is available in Chinese only.]

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