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Direct Elections Advocate Yao Lifa Missing

June 23, 2011

Human Rights in China has learned that Yao Lifa (姚立法), a school teacher and a prominent advocate of direct local elections, has been missing since Monday, June 20.

According to Yao’s wife, people posted outside their home have been watching her and Yao. In addition, Yao has been followed to and from work. On Monday, June 20, Yao did not come home from work, and she has not heard from him since. She does not know who took her husband, where he has gone, or when he will return. She also said that it is not unusual for Yao to be missing during periods deemed politically sensitive by the authorities. In the past, he was taken away either by state security police (国保) or by the school and has been put under house arrest or taken on a “trip.” Elections of most of the county- and township-level people’s congresses have recently begun and will last through the end of 2012. More than 40 people have announced their independent candidacies.

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