Wife of Jailed China Activist Tells of Eviction Effort

Zeng Jinyan, the wife of imprisoned dissident Hu Jia, has been tweeting in recent days about efforts by authorities in Shenzhen to kick her and her young daughter out of their apartment, just days before her husband is scheduled to be released from prison. From the New York Times:

Ms. Zeng, 27, previously lived in Beijing but had moved with her 3 ½-year-old daughter to Shenzhen, an industrial city opposite Hong Kong, in April. “The Beijing police drove me out,” she said in a written exchange over the Internet on Wednesday. “Now Shenzhen authorities are driving me out, too.”

Although Ms. Zeng and her husband were frequently harassed in the past, she said, the reason behind the latest pressure was unclear. “Maybe once again there are some officials who don’t want me under their jurisdiction, or maybe there are bigger political reasons,” she wrote, adding: “If I try to find a job, they threaten my boss. If I try to cooperate with someone, they threaten my partner. If I try to find some part-time work, they tell the human resources of the company to censor me.”

Mr. Hu, 37, was perhaps China’s best-known proponent of civil rights when security officers detained him in December 2007 during a roundup of activists in the months before Beijing’s 2008 Olympics. In tandem with Ms. Zeng, he campaigned in the past decade on a wide range of issues that the government deems sensitive, from human rights to medical care to the environment. The couple were early users of e-mail and the Internet to publicize their causes.

Mr. Hu spent much of the past five and a half years either in prison or under house arrest, but managed until his imprisonment to continue speaking on civil-liberties issues through the Internet. His December 2007 detention came one month after he testified on China’s human rights problems via a video link before a European Parliament committee. He was formally convicted of subversion in April 2008 after a trial in which prosecutors cited his Internet statements, articles and interviews with foreign journalists as proof of wrongdoing.

Follow Zeng Jinyan on Twitter.

June 8, 2011 2:39 PM
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Categories: Human Rights, Politics