'They Won't Leave Us Alone'

The fiancee of a prominent rights activist describes constant harassment by Chinese authorities.

china-QinYongminm-305.gif An undated photo of Qin Yongmin.

Wang Xifeng, the fiancee of veteran Wuhan-based democracy and rights activist Qin Yongmin, spoke recently to RFA about the extent of the authorities' interference in the couple's private life following a recent questioning session with state security police, who objected to her microblog posts about the problems she faces:

I got back home with [my husband] at 11:30 a.m. after we went shopping, and there were two men and two women, who pulled out a summons notification which had written on it 'suspected of disturbing social order.' They wanted to force me to leave right then but I said I had to bring the items we bought back to our home. They also tried to force their way in through our front door, but I shoved them back outside. I ate some food with [Qin Yongmin] and then I got ready to open the door and go with them. But the police guarding the door were nowhere to be seen. So [Qin Yongmin] and I went down to the Xingouqiao police station. They told me I wouldn't be summoned for now, but another time. I protested this vehemently in front of the police station. Then they told me to go to the neighborhood committee office, and they said that there were a lot of people from higher up who wanted to talk to me.

When Wang arrived at the office, she was greeted by three officers from her local police station and the state security police:

He took out a bunch of print-outs of Tencent microblog posts and asked me if they were mine. I said this was my private business, and that I had no comment. I said I had done nothing to break the law, and that their bringing me to this place for a 'chat' was in itself a violation of my human rights. Then they said that microblogs were a public forum, and that anyone speaking out had to take legal responsibility. They talked to me for more than an hour, and the main gist of it was that I should be a bit more careful of what I write on the microblogs, otherwise I could be liable for disturbing public order. Then they made me read through the contents [of the print-outs] and sign my name.

It wasn't a very long time but I was pretty weak already because I had just had an abortion. The police just won't leave us alone, and they are interfering with our ability to live a normal life. I am so exhausted that I just can't take any more ... Ever since May, we have been trying to get a marriage certificate by following legal processes, but we haven't succeeded in getting it because the government has been obstructing us all along. Because we are unable to get a marriage certificate, we have no approval to have a child, and no right to give birth. Under such circumstances we felt that there was nothing we could do but to have an abortion.

Reported by Fang Yuan for RFA's Mandarin service and by Ho Shan for RFA's Cantonese service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta

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