Prominent human rights lawyer prevented from leaving China

A human rights lawyer, Li Heping, who
was imprisoned during a crackdown on
human rights activists in 2015, embraced
by his wife and daughter following his
release. (Photo: ChinaAid)

ChinaAid

(Hinggan League, Inner Mongolia—June 9, 2018) Officials in China’s Inner Mongolia denied renowned human rights lawyer Wang Yu a passport recently, prohibiting her from leaving the country, according to a Radio Free Asia report.

Wang and her husband, Bao Longjun, who is also a human rights lawyer, were trying to get money to their son, Bao Zhuoxuan, who needs it to finance his studies at an Australian university. Since authorities prohibited them from wiring money to their son, Wang had been hoping to go to Australia and deliver the cash herself.

Both lawyers were jailed during a nationwide crackdown on human rights practitioners in 2015, and authorities confiscated the entire family’s passports. Later that year, Bao Zhuoxuan, fled the country with two adults, Tang Zhishun and Xing Qingxian and traveled to Burma, where they were intercepted by police and returned to China. Authorities then handed Bao Zhuoxuan over to his grandmother and placed him under house arrest.

All three family members have since been freed, but Wang and Bao Longjun remain under close surveillance. Bao Zhuoxuan eventually obtained a passport, allowing him to attend a university in Melbourne.

After the initial money transfer didn’t go through, Wang tried to apply for a passport but was denied on the grounds that she is a danger to “national security,” terminology often used to arbitrarily label dissidents who criticize the Communist Party.

Bao Longjun told Radio Free Asia, “All of the cases in the July 2015 crackdown [on lawyers and rights activists] were fake; they just wanted to go after human rights lawyers as a group,” he said. “They will stop you from leaving the country if they think you [and your work] is a bit sensitive, or if you’re not that easy to control.”

Radio Free Asia also said that China is increasingly using travel bans to suppress those who disagree with the government.

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


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