Human rights activist struggles financially as authorities deny pension

Zhu Yufu
(Photo: ChinaAid)


(Hangzhou, Zhejiang—Aug. 7, 2018) Julie Zhu, the daughter of human rights activist Zhu Yufu, issued a plea on behalf of her father, who suffers financial instability as authorities deny him his retirement pension.

Freshly released after serving a full seven-year sentence on account of his human rights work, Zhu Yufu was immediately placed on a forced vacation under house arrest. He was previously accused of “inciting subversion of state power” shortly after composing a poem titled “It’s Time,” encouraging Chinese citizens to stand up for their rights. His sentence, which he received in 2012, noted that he was also to be deprived of political rights for three years.

Even though her father is free, Julie Zhu claims that authorities have been denying him his retirement funds, despite the fact that her mother has already paid for it for the required 15 years. As a result, Zhu Yufu wishes to return to prison, because “they at least provide three meals a day there,” Julie Zhu says in a statement begging the international community to intervene on behalf of her father.

Her statement has been included in full below.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those experienced by Zhu Yufu, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.

Editor’s Note: The following letter was penned by Julie Zhu, daughter of persecuted human rights activist Zhu Yufu.

My father was released on March 4, 2018. However, after cruel political persecution, the authorities began to unreasonably economically sanction him. Without money and the right to choose a hospital to get medical treatment, he is left high and dry. The pension insurance institution should consider it as a contract and promise, since they have received all the money my father paid. My father had been sent into prison for advocating for democracy and freedom, the freedom of association, and freedom of speech, which is empowered by the Constitution three times. His time in prison accumulated to 16 years. He is tortured by a shortage of livelihood at the age of 66. As his daughter, I am very angry and helpless. I strongly condemn the Chinese government for ignoring international laws on human rights and inhumanely oppressing my father in different aspects. I also appeal to the Chinese government to stop persecuting my father any more.

My father has been paying the pension insurance since 1993. There were two parts—one paid by his company, and one paid on his own. In March 2000, he was discharged from public employment because of his sentence. From 2003 to February 2013, my mother paid his pension insurance monthly for a total to 15 years and 10 months. According to the pension policy, 15 years is enough to get the pension benefits. Now, my father should be qualified. However, it has been already five months since my father was released; he still hasn’t got a penny. My father protests strongly against such villainous, barbarous behavior, which ignores his livelihood and deprives him of his pension without any reason. The authorities delayed again and again, claiming they were ”still coordinating and researching” his livelihood! My father even wants to go back to the prison, since they at least provide three meals a day there. As his daughter, I feel extremely anxious.

If the authorities keeps refusing to give the pension, we hoped they could at least return the money we have paid for more than 15 years. But the authorities also refused us because “there are not any regulations about refunding.” This is clearly a personal crackdown and attack because of his different political opinion. In June, my father went to related [government] departments several times to appeal for this thing, however he experienced a very ‘strange’ motorcycle accident and hurt his left leg badly, and his lumbar disc herniation was recurrent, so he had to lay in bed for more than a month.

My father was treated with great cruelty in prison for so many years. His health condition is extremely bad, and he has many kinds of cardiovascular diseases. When he was in prison, my mother (a pharmacist and a nurse)was forbidden to give him any anti-hypertensive drugs, and he was forced to take unknown drugs in prison. Meanwhile he was deprived of all legitimate rights (he could not go out of his cell, see the sun, or talk to anyone). After release, he had heart attack at midnight several times, which made my mother very worried, and he also had pain in his kidney and liver areas. The authorities only allowed him to go to a designated hospital, but that hospital said my father is totally healthy without doing any basic examination. We are all highly concerned about what will happen if his body steadily deteriorates, but we cannot do anything to change the situation.

A friend of my father sympathized with him because his dilemma a wrote a book called The Artistic Life of Zhu Yufu to introduce my father’s process of learning artistic skills with famous artists when he was young and in hopes my father can make a living by selling his calligraphies. However, the authorities knew this thing by monitoring the WeChat in my father’s phone and came to his home to threaten him on July 30.

My father has been fighting for democratic freedom since the late 70’s. He fought hard, leaving his own life out of consideration. We believe anyone with a conscience would express great sympathy and commiseration for him, a famous prisoner of conscience. As a citizen of the United Nations, my father hopes the United Nations can come out to help him and that all the justice-upholding organizations and activists in the world can issue a strong voice against the persecution that the Chinese government did to my father!

ChinaAid Media Team
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