'Suffering From Paranoia'

The wife of an ethnic Mongolian activist says her husband's health is quickly deteriorating under illegal detention.
2012-10-26
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Xinna, wife of Inner Mongolian activist Hada, speaks to the media, April 15, 2009.
AFP

Xinna, the wife of prominent ethnic Mongolian dissident Hada spoke to RFA this week about her fears for his mental and physical health, as her husband enters his 23rd month of illegal detention following his release at the end of a 15-year formal jail term. Hada was sentenced to jail for "splittism" and "espionage" for his advocacy on behalf of ethnic Mongolians living in China, and released in December 2010, but is still serving out his four years of deprivation of political rights at an unofficial detention center outside Hohhot. Xinna, who was herself handed a three-year suspended jail sentence in May, said she visited Hada last month and described his living conditions in these extracts from three separate interviews:

Hada is being held in a large compound ... surrounded by four lines of barbed wire and a high wall ... in the eastern suburbs of Hohhot. There are armed police on guard outside and state security police on the inside. I heard them saying that they have at least 67 people in there, sometimes as many as 100. Every time we go there, they strip search us, and they go through all of our stuff. Sometimes they even taste food and wine that I bring for Hada. It's like this every time we go in, and again on the way out.

Right now, he is twitching all down the left side of his face. He tries to bite down on it with his teeth, but he can't control it. He is extremely closed in on himself ... and suffering from paranoia. He says someone is trying to poison him, but I am guessing it is because of all the pressure he is under. He has been mistreated and his family taken away from under his nose on two occasions, and I think this has hit him very hard. [The police] told me very clearly that I wouldn't be allowed to visit ... because of the interviews I gave [to foreign media].

They don't even give him toilet paper. He has to rinse himself with water, and no one has taken any notice of him for more than a year now. His mental state has deteriorated, and I wrote to the [Inner Mongolia] political and legal affairs committee about this in September ... [He is] obviously quite sluggish. Every day, after he has had breakfast, he just sits there on his bed with his eyes shut. The doctor checked him over in September at our family's fierce insistence. He examined him, but he didn't treat him. The psychiatrist said in front of me, and in front of the police guarding him, that he recommended [Hada] be sent to a specialist clinic for further treatment. But they haven't let him seek treatment. I am writing a letter today about this issue.

I am [also] writing that even if they won't let me visit [Hada] because I gave media interviews, my son should be allowed to visit him. It has been more than a month now [since our last visit] and I am worried about the state he is in. Our family's Internet connection was suddenly cut off and yesterday, when my son went out, he was followed by state security police. My son is under a lot of stress. The police snatched my son's bag away after he took photos of them. They stopped the bus he was on for 10 minutes and wouldn't let it move on. Finally, they snatched my son's bag from him.

I suddenly discovered today that there are now more surveillance cameras outside my home. There were four before, but now there are eight ... I found it pretty strange. I try to call my mother, my sister and my older brother, but it's hard to get through.

Reported by Qiao Long and Gao Shan for RFA's Mandarin service, and by Grace Kei Lai-see for the Cantonese service. Translated by Luisetta Mudie.