'We Have Become Criminals'

The wife and son of Inner Mongolian dissident Hada call on Chinese authorities to stop political persecution against them.
2012-12-10
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Hada (l) shares a meal with son Uiles (c) and wife Xinna (r) in this photo dated Dec. 10, 2010.
AFP

Two years his release from prison on a 15-year sentence for splittism charges, Inner Mongolian dissident Hada remains under detention, while his wife Xinna and son Uiles are under de facto house arrest.

Following once-in-a-decade leadership change at the ruling Chinese Communist Party's 18th national congress in November, Xinna and Uiles wrote letters to government officials about their suffering under official restrictions.

Xinna wrote to Inner Mongolian authorities asking for a "new beginning" under the new leadership.


To Ma Ming, Director of Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau"

Greetings!

My husband Hada was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 1995 in connection with an ethnic issue. On December 10, 2010, he completed his prison term. Yet, he has not been freed. He has already been illegally detained by the Inner Mongolia Public Security Bureau State Security Brigade at Jin Ye Ecological Technical Garden in southern suburban Hohhot for almost two years.

Today, I am writing to you about the following three issues:

1.  Detaining Hada after the completion of his full prison term is an illegal act. I urge you to release him immediately. The authority's reason for the continuing detention of Hada is that he is being deprived of his political rights for four years. This has no legal basis at all. Deprivation of political rights is not equal to deprivation of personal freedom. This type of arbitrary distortion of law is a rare practice in modern China. I hope in your new term you correct this past mistake, exercise justice in accordance with the law, release Hada, and grant a reunion of our family as quickly as possible.

2.  In the spirit of “ruling the country by law and building a more humane society,” please allow our family members to visit Hada on a regular basis. Originally the Public Security Bureau State Security Brigade stated that we can visit Hada anytime. However, since mid-July this year, they have failed to live up to their promise, and barred mother and son from visiting Hada. The Prison Act Article 48 clearly states that criminals can be visited by family members regularly in accordance with the law. Even a criminal in prison can be visited by family members, let alone Hada who has completed his prison term but is being illegally detained by the Public Security Bureau. Therefore, barring us today from visiting Hada has no legal justification. It is completely unacceptable that Hada is still being imprisoned even after completing his full prison term. Fifteen years ago, we were somehow allowed to visit Hada occasionally. Today, he is denied the visitation right even though he was discharged from the prison where he completed his full prison term.

3.  Given that the 18th National Congress has ended, I hope past mistakes can be corrected to start a new beginning, and the long-pending case of our family is resolved in a just manner. I hope after the 18th National Congress, the rule of law is implemented in the light of day in China. We have been appealing for a just resolution on Hada’s case for years in hopes of “right prevails over evil." Unfortunately, previous leaders of the authorities failed to address the ethical problems. In handling the case of Hada and his family members, the actions taken by the authorities have been out-dated and full of errors. Indiscriminate political repression has criminalized everyone. Thus, all three members of my family have become “criminals." In our daily life, we have deliberately been given a hard time; the internet is blocked; telephone line is cut off; we are followed outdoors, and monitored indoors; I am not allowed to run my bookstore or to auction my books. Through these actions they hope to alienate us from the common public and marginalize us from society. When will these days of “prisoners outside prison” be put to an end? Previously I wrote to Mr. Hu Chunhua and Mr. Li Jia. Today I am writing to you in consideration of your youthful age and in hopes of your kind consideration in dealing with politics in ethnic issues.

It has been 17 years already since Hada’s arrest. Life has been extremely difficult for us both mother and son over these years. I believe no one would be calm and unemotional if he or she personally experienced such hardships. One can walk out of the debris of history, but one cannot come out of the dark shadow of persecution.

Sincerely,

Xinna, wife of Hada

November 22, 2012

 

Hada and Xinna's son Uiles, who was around 11 years old at the time of his father's arrest, wrote to China's incoming president Xi Jinping asking to be executed because of the misery caused by restrictions on the family:

Dear Mr. President Xi Jinping,

My name is Uiles, 28 years old, ethnic Mongolian. I am the son of Southern Mongolian dissident Hada. I hope after you receive this letter you will please send your Public Security personnel to execute me and my mother or arrest and take us away lest we die at home of hunger and suffering.

During the Jiang Zemin era, my father was sentenced to 15 years in jail for "engaging in espionage and splitting the country." At that time, I was still a young child left to my mother who on the one hand, raised me by herself and on the other hand appealed for the release of my father during those years. Due to our years of tireless appeals for justice, we have gradually come around to being regarded by the authorities as a "different sort". Unwarranted persecutions were carried over from the political sphere to our daily life. Our bookstore, the only source of our livelihood, has been shutdown. Misery has become our permanent companion.

When it came to the Hu Jintao era, despite our hopes for improvement, things have gone from bad to worse. Due to the fact that during his imprisonment my father did not admit to any crime or wrongdoing, on the eve of his expected release date, the authorities threatened him and said that his wife and son would be thrown into prison if he refused to admit to his crimes. As a result, my father remains in prison even after the completion of his prison term.

My mother has been sentenced [to 3 years in jail with 5 years' reprieve] on a charge of "engaging in illegal business". I have been falsely accused of being involved in "drug possession" for answering interviews by foreign news media. As such, all three members of my family have become "criminals". After being discharged from detention, I and my mother found out that during this period the authorities have continued to torture my father physically and mentally. Thus, we appealed to the international community in regards to his situation. For this, we are still under house arrest, and our basic daily expenses have fallen to zero. This is because the authorities have prohibited us from going out to make a living, deliberately pushing us toward the edge of death through starvation at home. My mother has already fallen ill, and I myself have utterly despaired.

The 18th National Congress has ended already. I must say that if you still feel we are causing troubles, please send someone immediately to execute me and my mother, lest we starve to death at our home in a few days and relieve us of the suffering we are experiencing from this miserable life and endless despair.

Citizen Uiles,

November 11, 2012

Letters provided and translated by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), a U.S.-based Inner Mongolian rights group.