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Saturday, August 26, 2006 

Zeng Jinyan: "When activists fall foul of China's police state"

Zeng Jinyan has an op-ed in International Herald Tribune where she talks about her experience of being under house arrested again.

The piece, orginally written in Chinese with the title "Illegal detention is often the means that Chinese Government use to suppress people with a social conscience", is available on Zeng Jinyan's blog.

Remember she is only twenty-two years old.

"When I was running around looking for traces of Hu, I discovered that his case was far from unique. I met families whose loved ones were also suffering from such inhumane treatment - arbitrary detention, abduction and forced disappearance - for their efforts to defend human rights, including the family of Chen Guangcheng, the blind activist from Linyi City, in Shandong Province, who on Thursday was sentenced to more than four years in prison.

For many days now, Hu has again been subjected to house arrest. Police officers standing guard outside our flat even prevent us from taking walks in the enclosed grounds of Bobo Freedom City. I am followed and watched wherever I go. My colleagues have been told to pull out of our joint business venture, my friends are threatened and driven away, and my neighbors questioned and harassed if they talk to me.

Four official vehicles and a dozen policemen are camped downstairs, observing every movement in our flat. When I dialed the emergency police number, 110, to report illegal tailing, the person who answered my call just hung up. I wrote to the mayor of Beijing to seek help, but I got no answer.

This is how we have to live in Beijing. Our aspirations for freedom and respect for fellow human beings are suffocated, our care for each other as fellow citizens is being destroyed. Beijing fears the force of justice and conscience. Its law-enforcement officials resort to illegal means under cover of darkness to isolate and threaten social activists."

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