The husband of Shanghai rights activist Mao Hengfeng (毛恒凤) told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that he has not been allowed to visit or contact Mao since she was first detained on September 30, 2012, and is deeply concerned about her condition.
Wu Xuewei (吴雪伟), Mao’s husband, said on January 31, “I have repeatedly asked the Yangpu District Detention Center and other related departments to let me visit Mao, or even just let her call me on the phone. The detention center said, ‘We have already asked the authorities in charge; she is not allowed to have visitors or make calls.’ Although Mao’s lawyer has met with her twice, I fear that her situation is much more serious than I know. Based on prior experience, in the past, she almost always suffered an immense amount of pain during the period when I was not allowed to see her. She told her lawyer that her blood pressure has been 240 at its highest. The detention center said that usually it is over 200. Mao is sick all over; it’s a very difficult situation.”
Mao began petitioning after she was fired from her job in 1988 for refusing to abort a second pregnancy. She was subsequently incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals at least three times. In 2007, she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for the trumped-up charge that she broke two lamps while under “residential surveillance”; while imprisoned, she suffered many types of abuse and torture. In 2010, Mao was sent to a Reeducation-through-Labor (RTL) facility in Anhui on charges of “disturbing social order” for voicing her support for imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波). In 2011, just two days after she was released in Anhui on medical parole, she was sent to an RTL camp in Shanghai. She received an early release in July that year because of illness.
Mao went to Beijing in late August 2012 to petition for unpaid pension. She was intercepted by plainclothes police on September 30 and taken back to Shanghai and held in criminal detention at the Yangpu District Detention Center on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.” October 30, Mao was ordered to serve one year-and-a-half of RTL but was held in the detention center for three more months until her transfer to an RTL facility on January 30, 2013. The RTL facility refused to accept her because of her high blood pressure and returned her to the Yangpu District Detention Center.
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