Chinese Rights Lawyer Stopped at Airport, En Route to Visit Sick Daughter

Tang Jitian's 25-year-old daughter is in an ICU with complications from tuberculosis.
Chinese Rights Lawyer Stopped at Airport, En Route to Visit Sick Daughter Chinese rights lawyer Tang Jitian is shown at the Fuzhou Changle International Airport, where he was prevented from boarding a flight to Japan, June 2, 2021.
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Authorities in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian have prevented a prominent rights attorney from boarding a plane to Japan to visit his daughter, who is seriously ill with tuberculosis.

Tang Jitian was prevented from boarding the flight by security guards at Fuzhou Changle International Airport on Wednesday, who tore up his boarding pass.

Tang's daughter, who lives in Japan, is currently critically ill with tuberculosis, but Tang has been prevented from visiting her, he told RFA.

Tang said he had checked his luggage for the flight at around 8:30 a.m., before heading through security.

"When I arrived at Border Inspection Window No. 8, a police [officer] checked my passport and swiped it," Tang said. "Then [another] policeman came over to check my documents again."

"After that, several more police officers were called and they took me to an interrogation room inside the immigration checkpoint," he said.

Tang was told he wouldn't be allowed to leave China, despite his family circumstances.

"They told me verbally that, in accordance with Article 12, Sec. 5 of China's Entry and Exit Administration Law, I wasn't allowed to leave the country, because I would 'endanger national security'," he said.

"They told me this was on the orders of the Beijing municipal public security bureau, but they refused to tell me the names and contact details of the individuals [who had ordered the travel ban]," he said. "They said they were only carrying out the tasks assigned to them."

"By that time, there were more and more uniformed police gathering in the area, so I just left," Tang said. "They threw my boarding pass into the trash."

Tang's daughter was admitted to hospital on April 30 after she developed hydrocephalus as a complication of tuberculosis, putting her brain stem under pressure. She is currently on a ventilator with a tracheostomy.

The hydrocephalus is compressing her nerves, and this also affect her mobility, he has previously said. She also has hydrocardia.

"I always felt that I didn't do enough for her when she was growing up," Tang said. "Now I can't be at her side to support her at this time of crisis, when she is seriously ill."

"I feel awful about that. She just had her 25th birthday."

Reported by Xiaoshan Huang and Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.


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