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Petitioner Shen Ting Denied Entry to Mainland

February 27, 2004

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Hong Kong resident Shen Ting was detained by Chinese Customs officials for more than two hours at the Lowu border on February 26, after which her Home Return Permit (huixiangzheng) was confiscated without explanation.

Shen Ting was preparing to fly from Shenzhen to Shanghai to attend the funeral of her grandmother, who had raised her while her parents were being persecuted as “counterrevolutionary elements” during the Cultural Revolution.

After denying Shen Ting the right to attend her grandmother’s funeral, Chinese authorities dispatched at least six plainclothes police officers to monitor her movements in Hong Kong under such close surveillance as to constitute harassment. Shen Ting has since reported the situation to the Hong Kong police, and has asked for protection against further intimidation.

According to knowledgeable sources, the actions against Shen Ting stem from her rejection of a recent approach from Chinese authorities to resolve the compensation issue relating to her parents’ forced removal in a Shanghai redevelopment scheme. Shen Ting has been assisting her elderly parents in protesting the compensation terms, and has become a spokesman for a large group of other displaced Shanghai residents. Chinese officials offered to rehouse Shen’s parents in a unit worth 1.5 million yuan if she agreed to discontinue petitioning Beijing on the issue, and if she stopped advocating the release of lawyer Zheng Enchong, who was jailed last year after assisting hundreds of displaced residents. Sources say Shen Ting felt she could not abandon the common struggle for the sake of obtaining compensation that her parents rightfully deserved.

“We deplore the way in which Chinese officials have attempted to effectively bribe Shen Ting to abandon her righteous cause,” said HRIC president Liu Qing. “It is even more reprehensible that, having failed in this attempt, officials have retaliated by denying Shen Ting the opportunity to say a final farewell to her beloved grandmother. Shen Ting is a Chinese citizen resident in Hong Kong. On what basis is she being denied entry to her own country? This is a flagrant abuse of her basic civil rights. Finally, the assignment of public security police to harass her in Hong Kong is an unacceptable breach of the principle of one-country-two-systems.” HRIC calls on Chinese government to cease its harassment of Shen Ting, and to restore her Home Return Permit so she can return to the mainland for her lawful personal business.