Gansu mother given labour camp sentence seeks justice

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2012, 1:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2012, 3:56pm

A Gansu woman who was sentenced to one year of hard labour after a trip to Beijing last month, is taking legal action against Lanzhou city’s security authorities for abuses of power.

Zhao Fumei was detained by security officials in November after a trip to Beijing ended up with her being taken back to her hometown for reeducation at a labour camp on November 12. She has since been released.

The purpose of the lawsuit will be to expose abuses of power by the labour camp commission in Lanzhou City and its decision-making body, the Lanzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau, the Oriental Morning Post reported on Monday, quoting Zhao’s lawyer Wang Fu.

“They took my blood tests, blood pressure tests, chest x-rays, electrocardiogram but before I was given the results, they said they said they were sending me home,” Zhao revealed in an interview with the Oriental Morning Post on Monday. They instead shuttled her all the way to Lanzhou city’s labour camp.

Zhao was in Beijing to visit her son Guo Dajun, a postgraduate student at the Beijing Institute of Technology from November 5-8.

Guo was informed of his mother’s situation by Lanzhou city police a few days after she was detained. He received a letter stating that his mother was being punished for “disturbing public order”.

Local police claim the sentencing was related to a charge filed in May 2010, in which a reeducation sentence Zhao was supposed to receive had been postponed until she could recover from a range of health issues.

According to police, Zhao was diagnosed with hypertension, hysteromyoma and gallstones, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported in November.

Guo believed his mother was being punished for her “bad record” with authorities and quickly took to social media to garner attention from the public and appeal for help.

“I want my mother to come home,” he said. “I will convince her to give up petitioning in the future.”

Wang said Zhao was also calling for national reform of the reeducation-through-labour penal system this year by introducing pilot reforms first in Lanzhou, Zhengzhou, Nanjing and Jinan.