Sex worker rights activist Ye Haiyan was made homeless yesterday when Guangdong security police abandoned her, her teenage daughter and their possessions on a remote roadside 120 kilometres from their home in Zhongshan.
Ye said the forced eviction, which she documented on social media, followed days of harassment by authorities in Zhongshan, where they had attempted to settle after being forced out of at least two other provinces.
"My child is badly shaken," Ye told the Sunday Morning Post last night from Guangzhou, which she had reached with the help of supporters. "[The authorities] are turning me from side to side just to torture me, but they won't put me to death."
Ye's boyfriend posted online a photo showing Ye and her 14-year-old daughter sitting among boxes, furniture and appliances on a section of provincial highway No 365 in Taishan city's Guanghai district.
"They told us to get out of their car," he wrote. "A head of [the Zhongshan security police] said to me: 'You stand up straight and listen. Get back to your Hubei. Zhongshan doesn't welcome you. Guangzhou also doesn't welcome you.
"'If I ever see you again in Zhongshan, I'll break your legs. I'll let you go on this one'."
In 2010, Ye was forced from Wuhan in Hubei after campaigning to legalise prostitution. In June, she was detained for 13 days in Bobai county, Guangxi , after protesting in Hainan over the rape of six schoolgirls by a principal and a government official.
Ordered to leave Bobai, Ye moved to Zhongshan with the help of a friend, but was soon harassed by local authorities. She fled to Guangzhou on Monday, only to find herself pursued by local authorities there, as well.
Ai Xiaoming , a women's studies professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, called Ye's eviction an "open challenge to the nation's women and children's rights crusaders".
"[Ye] is a protector of women and children's rights," Ai said. "The police are supposed to crack down on criminals, but we are seeing the opposite today. This is a disgusting act aimed at humiliating her."