Activist located, moved to safety

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 July, 2012, 12:00am


A blind mainland activist who fled a 'black jail' where she was held after mainland authorities refused to let her enter Hong Kong to attend the July 1 rally is being transferred to a 'safe place', a Hong Kong-based rights group said yesterday.

Li Guizhi, 57, was located yesterday after she went missing on Tuesday. Meanwhile, two other mainlanders who did make it to the July 1 rally face a year's detention in a labour camp after they tried to 'illegally petition' Beijing over the deaths of their spouses in unauthorised hospitals.

Liu Weiping, chairman of the People's Rights Union of China, said Li contacted him by public telephone yesterday afternoon.

Li has been hiding in the outskirts of her home town, Baoding city in Hebei province, since her nephew helped her flee a 'black jail' - a hotel room in Hebei - on Tuesday as her guards were dozing, Liu said.

Li has been petitioning authorities for years to investigate the suspicious death of her son, a policeman, in 2006. She believes he was killed after learning of his colleagues' involvement with the drugs trade. But the official version is that her son died in a traffic accident.

Li had wanted to attend the annual rally in Hong Kong and hold a press conference about her son's death, but she was turned back at the border in Shenzhen in late June and detained sometime later.

Liu said People's Rights Union had arranged Li to leave Hebei for a 'safe place' elsewhere on the mainland. 'We are very worried that she might still be killed or simply disappear during her journey,' Liu said.

Meanwhile, the union is mobilising people to rescue Song Ningsheng and Zeng Jiuzi, who were detained in a police station in Ningdu county in Jiangxi province after taking part in the July 1 rally and later petitioned officials in Beijing.

The man and woman had been demanding inquiries into the death of their spouses at illegal hospitals.

Liu said he was told the pair would be sent to a labour camp today for a year, without a proper trial, because they had 'seriously breached public order' and 'illegally petitioned'.

He called on the US government to raise the issue of the three activists during the US China Human Rights Dialogue that takes place today and tomorrow in Washington.