The family of jailed Inner Mongolian dissident Batzangaa says his health is deteriorating in prison, where he is serving a three-year jail term for "economic crimes," while the couple's eldest daughter is suffering from mental health problems during her father's absence.
Batzangaa, his wife Bayanhuaar, and their two children were detained in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on April 13, 2013, after police accused him of planning to meet with a foreign official to arrange his family's escape overseas.
The family was taken back to their hometown in Ordos municipality of northern China's Inner Mongolia region, where Batzangaa was held in detention before beginning his jail term.
"He had a rash, and his health has been very poor," Bayanhuaar, who last visited Batzangaa on Oct. 15, told RFA's Mandarin Service.
"He has a persistent cough, with diarrhea and constant stomach pain," she said.
She said she had been unable to visit since Oct. 15, as the couple's eldest daughter had been suffering from severe depression.
"I have been home taking care of my kid," Bayanhuaar said.
She said she had called on prison authorities to allow Batzangaa to leave jail on medical parole.
"I requested [medical parole], but they told me that the 'conditions don't allow it,'" she said.
Batzangaa, who founded a school of traditional Tibetan-Mongolian medicine, was ordered by a court in the Inner Mongolian city of Ordos to begin serving at the end of April a suspended jail term handed down in 2011 for "misdirecting funds."
Bayanhuaar said the family's detention in Guangzhou had had a traumatic impact on the couple's two children.
"They are frightened, and miss their father," she said. "The 13-year-old hasn't been allowed to visit her father for three months now, and this has really upset her."
"She's depressed, and she won't speak and refuses food, and she won't take her medication properly," Bayanhuaar said.
"One day, she said she didn't want to live any more, and her teacher called me, and told me to bring her home, because she was ... crying and shouting in the classroom."
"Now she's on leave from school."
'When is Daddy coming home?'
Bayanhuaar said she seldom answers the door to the family apartment, even though someone frequently knocks on it loudly and insistently.
Asked if she had any statement on Human Rights Day, Bayanhuaar said: "I want my husband to come back soon and save our daughter."
"She looks at his photograph every day, and stands there in a daze, and the younger daughter asks me every day, 'When is Daddy coming home?'"
"I tell her, 'He's coming home real soon, very soon,' to encourage her," Bayanhuaar said.
Batzangaa's imprisonment came after the family was brought back from the neighboring country of Mongolia in May 2009 by Chinese police, while he was in the middle of an asylum application with the United Nations Refugee Agency Liaison Office in Mongolia's capital Ulaanbaatar.
Batzangaa, a Chinese national and ethnic Mongolian who had developed a network of traditional Mongolian-Tibetan medical practitioners around the Inner Mongolian region, was arrested at the front entrance of the U.N. refugee agency office building on Oct. 3, 2009.
According to the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), the three were deported back to Ordos municipality in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, on the same day, with no apparent recourse to Mongolian legal proceedings to challenge the deportation order.
Before leaving China, Batzangaa had set up and run the Ordos Mongol-Tibetan Medical School of traditional Tibetan medicine and had a series of disputes with the Chinese authorities over the right to maintain the school’s ethnic characteristics, the group said in a statement at the time.
His asylum application was based on fear of persecution due to his plans to organize public demonstrations to protest the authorities’ illegal confiscation of land belonging to the school, it said.
Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.