The husband of a woman who earlier this month was forced to abort a seven-month-old foetus in Zhenping county, Shaanxi, has been missing since Sunday night after the family suffered days of harassment by local officials.
Deng Jiyuan, the 29-year-old father of the aborted foetus, had been constantly followed by local officials and thugs, his family said. A large banner had been put up in their town calling them traitors and demanding they leave. Deng’s family at first thought he had fled but are now worried that might not be the case as they were unable to contact him yesterday, his sister, Deng Jicai, told the South China Morning Post.
She said the harassment started when her brother said he planned to go to Beijing for a television and online video interview about the abortion. He was then watched, followed, stopped and even beaten during several attempts to leave for the capital.
Deng Jicai said the family had been followed everywhere for more than a week, including to the hospital where her brother’s wife, Feng Jianmei, is staying. She said four or five men even followed her brother when he went to the toilet. “They followed us and said they would take us by car wherever we want to go,” she said. “We feel like prisoners.”
The harassment worsened after the family gave an interview to the German weekly magazine Stern on Friday. On Sunday, more than 40 men and women arrived at the hospital holding two banners reading “Beat the traitors soundly and expel them from Zengjia township”.
“They shouted and shouted, saying we were ungrateful and traitors since the government had promised to solve this matter but we still talked to foreign media,” Deng Jicai said. “My cousin, who took pictures of them, was injured, with bruises and scratches all over his body.”
A Zhenping official, refusing to be named, denied the local government had any link to Sunday’s protest.
On June 2, 22-year-old Feng was abducted by Zengjia township family planning officials, forced to have a lethal injection into the fetus she was carrying and induced into labour after the family failed to pay a 40,000 yuan (HK$49,000) fine for having more than one child.
A photo of Feng, lying exhausted next to the blood-soaked corpse of the dead fetus in a hospital bed, ignited outrage around the world. Three officials were suspended from duty a day after the scandal was exposed by the media.Zhuang Pinghui
South China Morning Post
- Forced abortion in China on woman seven months pregnant (chinadailymail.com)
- Three officials suspended for forced abortion in China (chinadailymail.com)
- Apology for China abortion woman (bbc.co.uk)