Activist Beaten on Release

A member of the banned China Democracy Party says he was attacked by police following his release from jail.

he_depu305.jpg He Depu is still under close surveillance by Chinese authorities following his release.
Courtesy of He Depu

A founding member of a banned opposition party who was released from jail on Monday at the end of an eight-year prison sentence has been beaten by police in Beijing, relatives and fellow activists said.

Political activist and writer He Depu was released from Beijing's No. 2 Prison on Monday after completing the eight years and two months sentence handed down by a Beijing court on Nov. 4, 2002.

"They beat me up because I protested," He said following his release.

"The national security police wanted to take me in their vehicle, and I got very angry and told them that I was a free man now," He said from his Beijing home, where he is now under tight surveillance.

"So they forced me into their vehicle ... When I tried to reason with them, they attacked me," said He. "They injured my neck because of the way they grabbed it."

He said he was attacked by several people at once. "There was a younger looking one who hit me twice in the face, and I fell to the floor."

He said the beatings came after he called for an end to one-party rule by China's Communist Party outside the prison gate.

"I called for a free China, or I'd rather die," He added.

"When they heard that ... they beat me up all over again."

Tortured in jail

He said he had been tortured while in jail.

"The national security police took me to a small, dark room and about 20 of them tortured me in turn, in groups of four," he said.

"At one point, they were all pulling on my arms and legs, stretching me out, four of them on each limb."

He said he had sustained severe injuries to his shoulders, groin and lower back after prolonged torture sessions that recurred over a period of 85 days.

"Those were the worst 85 days of my life," said He, who already had severe hypertension before he went to prison.

"I had no effective medical treatment," he said. "I wasn't allowed out for exercise very often ... once I didn't get out for four months at a stretch."

He's wife Jia Jianying said he looked much thinner following his release, with a body weight of just 120 pounds (54.4 kilograms), compared with 156 pounds (70.7 kilograms) when he went in.

Supporters clash

Friends and supporters of He had also clashed with around 20 police who were stationed outside the couple's Beijing apartment block, they said.

"They were very rude, pushing and shoving us around," said He's friend Xu Yonghai. "I was pushed to the ground, and then taken to the police station."

"One of them was yelling at me that I wasn't to go and visit He Depu, or they would beat me to death," said Xu, who was subsequently released.

A number of fellow activists and friends had tried to meet He at the prison gate, but had been unable to make contact, they said.

"When He Depu was released from jail at 11 a.m., he called me on his way home," said fellow activist Zha Jianguo, who was also a member of the banned China Democracy Party (CDP).

"He got into a fight with police outside the jail, and had an injury to his arm," Zha said. "There were about 20 police there. Quite a few of us went to meet him, but we didn't get to see him."

"He called me, but we only exchanged a few words, and then we were cut off," he added.

He was convicted on charges that stemmed from his collaboration with the CDP, and from essays he published on the Internet, after a trial that lasted just two hours.

He vowed on his release to continue his activist work.

"I plan to work to get this system of residential surveillance abolished in China," he said.

"I am very, very angry about it."

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin service and by Fung Yat-yiu for the Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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