Li Jingfang is the ex-wife of Wuhan-based veteran Chinese dissident Qin Yongmin, who was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in 1998 for subversion, for his involvement in the setting up of the China Democracy Party, and his Human Rights Monitor bulletin. In a video made ahead of Beijing's hosting of the Olympics and obtained by RFA's Cantonese service, Li calls for his early release from jail on medical grounds:
I am Qin Yongmin's ex-wife. My name is Li Jingfang. My hope is that the authorities will show some leniency, understanding and generosity to those in prison at this time, with the approach of the Olympic Games. I really hope that Qin Yongmin will be released from jail a little earlier. He has already served 10 years in jail, since 1998. He has served a total of 20 years including a previous sentence. His health is very poor right now. My daughter and I are very worried about him. My daughter hasn't seen her father for 10 years.
I hope that the international community will show some concern for him, and that he can be released from jail before the Olympics. His eyesight is very poor now, and if he reads for more than a few minutes it causes him pain, and he is unable to continue. He also has a stomach problem, which he has had for many years. That is very bad now.
Right now, only Qin Yongmin's two brothers are allowed to go to the jail to visit him. In the 10 years he has been in jail, we didn't receive a letter from him, until the end of last year, when we got two letters at once that he had written to our daughter. But the letters—it was strange—they were written more than six months before we got them. To judge from the content, he has written far more letters than this.
This one, for example, is titled 'Letter of Feelings No. 17.' So I really don't know how many more he has written in the past decade. The content is mostly about his feelings, or rather that's what it's supposed to be about. But actually we couldn't find much that was meaningful in it. Not much feeling seemed to have gone into it at all. So after we read these letters, we were even more worried about him than we were before.
This photograph was taken on the Lunar New Year of 1991. My daughter was just two months old. It was taken in the Qiusheng Park right next to our home. This is the only photograph we have of the whole family together.
Original reporting by RFA's Cantonese service. Director: Shiny Li. Translated and produced for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.