Son of jailed July 1 activist tells of police intimidation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:49pm


The son of a mainland woman jailed for taking part in Hong Kong's July 1 rally says he was threatened by police and told his safety was at risk after giving an interview to foreign media.

Zeng Jiuzi, 53, and another activist, Song Ningsheng, a 44-year-old man, were sent to a labour camp in Ningdu county, in their home province of Jiangxi, to serve 14-month terms. But they were moved hundreds of kilometres away to separate camps in the cities of Nanchang and Gaoan on Friday.

Zeng's son Liu Zhonghua, 37, only discovered his mother had been moved when he went to visit her on Tuesday.

Liu said he was threatened face to face by the senior police officer in charge of the case, You Xianming, after he gave an interview to Voice of America, a radio station funded by the US government.

'He said, 'China is ruled by one party. Even Voice of America cannot interfere with us,'' Liu revealed by telephone. 'He told us to 'be careful'. I asked if there would be any serious consequences, he said 'definitely'.'

So far, Liu said he had not been followed or approached by anyone.

He saw his mother twice in the camp before she was moved and said she looked gaunt. 'I am very worried. Physically, she was not very well, and she is under psychological pressure. There must be some reason to transfer her that far away. They just want to torture us.'

Li Jingying, a member of the Hong Kong-based People's Rights Union of China who went to Gaoan to see Song yesterday, said she was told she would only be allowed to see him in a month's time. She suspected he had been beaten.

Li believes You was embarrassed by the Voice of America report and vented his anger at the activists and their families.

When the Post called You's telephone number, the person answering said the number was incorrect. When asked to comment, Ningdu's party secretary, Wang Sihua, said he had been on a business trip and had never heard of the activists.

Liu and his mother have been campaigning since 2008, when his father died in Shandong province, where he was a construction worker. Police told them he died in a traffic accident, But they were later told by other workers that he died in an accident at a building site.

Liu said he and his mother had been jailed 'countless times' for petitioning. He recalled how they were beaten in 2009. 'The security personnel put on sunglasses and face masks. They ordered people from a 'security company' to beat us. My mother fainted when they beat her on the head,' he said.

Liu also said he, his wife and seven-year-old son were jailed after petitioning in Beijing in 2009, during the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Song began petitioning in 2008 after his wife went to hospital with a cold and died after receiving an injection. With little support from relatives, he has been left to campaign alone and has now been separated from his 12-year-old daughter and son, aged six. 'His son is crying for his daddy every day,' Li said.