Diaoyu activist detained for illegally entering Shenzhen: wife

Yang Kuang's wife gets news that he is being detained for illegal entry into mainland

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 2:58am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 8:24am

Rights activist and Diaoyu Islands campaigner Yang Kuang is being held by Shenzhen police for sneaking across the border, his mainland wife said yesterday.

Liu Shasha said she received a call at about 5pm yesterday from the border defence team saying that her husband had been detained for illegal entry.

It was the first confirmation of Yang's whereabouts since he disappeared at 9pm on Monday.

"He tried to return home a few times as his parents, siblings and wife are all on the mainland," Liu said on Weibo yesterday.

"Now the authorities are using illegal entry as a pretext for political persecution. It is a violation of family affection and human rights," she wrote.

Liu did not explain how Yang had been able to travel to the mainland without his homereturn permit - which was revoked after he made a failed attempt to visit Liu Xia , wife of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo , in March last year.

But Liu said her husband had made the trip to visit her and had made contact with other Diaoyu activists.

She last heard from Yang on Monday when he sent her a text saying that he was "in trouble".

Before the confirmation of his arrest, Liu made an appeal on Weibo, calling for help from Hongkongers and the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

Yesterday, she said she had gone to the Shenzhen police to file a missing-person report after Yang had been missing for more than 24 hours. But the police refused to accept the report and she staged a sit-in outside the station. One officer told her it was "a matter of national security" when she asked why she could not report her husband missing, she said.

Guangzhou-born Yang was one of eight Hong Kong activists who in 2012 evaded the Japanese coastguard to land on the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands, the first landing by Hong Kong activists in 16 years.

In March last year, his failed attempt to visit Liu Xia - who has been under house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 - led to his arrest for "provoking quarrels and making trouble", a charge widely seen as an excuse used by police to arrest dissidents.

Later the same month, he was held in Shenzhen after crossing into the mainland by sea but was eventually freed.