Village activist released on bail, wife remains jailed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 11:31am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 1:21pm

Yao Baohua, the 75-year-old mathematics teacher-turned-rights activist in China’s eastern Jiangsu province has been released from jail on bail, his lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan said on Weibo on Saturday.

But Yao’s 74-year-old wife, Liu Qinfeng, and his 44-year-old son remained imprisoned, said Liu.

Liu posted a Weibo message on Saturday calling for the release of Liu’s wife and son:

“Today is the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year. But Yao Baohua will not be having a family get-together like the rest of us. While Yao and his daughter have been let out, his wife and son are still behind the bars. They cannot even see each other although they are locked up in the same place.”

He then added: “This happened just because they protested against land seizures.”

Yao has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer, said Liu.

The Yao family had been protesting against a real estate company’s incursion onto 30 acres of collective land to build an “illegal construction project” in their village. Villagers were not offered “a penny in compensation”, said Liu.